Staff at Glan Clwyd Hospital will reduce the use of cotton wool buds and disposable plastic cups on the neonatal unit.
July 9, 2018
Glan Clwyd neonatal staff reduce use of disposable plastic as part of environmental drive
Staff on the neonatal unit at Glan Clwyd Hospital, Denbighshire, Wales, have stopped using cotton wool buds and disposable plastic cups to reduce waste and help the environment.
The idea to stop using the items came from staff on the unit inspired by the recent drive to curb the use of disposable plastics.
The issue came to light following footage in the BBC documentary Blue Planet II, which showed the deadly impact unrecycled plastic has on marine life.
The footage sparked public debate about how to reduce the use of plastic in wider society, and the neonatal team at the hospital is now doing its bit to reduce waste.
Neonatal staff will now be swapping cotton wool buds with a plastic stem for gauze to help with the delicate job of cleaning infants. The team is also looking for funding for reusable water bottles to lend to families staying on the ward, preventing the use of plastic cups from the unit's water cooler.
Neonatal Unit Manager Caren Radcliffe says: "We were talking about how we can reduce waste and the amount of plastic we use and realised we don't really need to have the cotton wool buds or plastic cups.
"We're really aware of the amount of waste that occurs in healthcare, which is often unavoidable. We've looked at what we have the power to change so we hopefully can make a small impact.
"It's everyone's responsibility to do what they can to help the environment while caring for our patients. As healthcare professionals it's our job to lead by example, and hopefully if we can cut down on our use of plastics, families we work with can follow suit too.
The change is expected to save approximately £350 per year.