As part of its efforts to improve its sustainability and ensure staff stay hydrated at work, HRCH has given all its staff metal water bottles for the new year.
The move was inspired by a seven-year-old schoolboy from Bursted Wood Primary School in Bexleyheath, after the trust signed up to a plastic reduction pledge.
Sheila Roberts, clinical service manager for the trust’s school-age immunisations team, was out with some of her nurses when she noticed the little boy was horrified that her team were drinking from disposable plastic water bottles.
She immediately asked the trust to buy multi-use water bottles for everyone in the trust, so they would no longer have to use plastic ones.
Coincidentally, this was the day after the trust board signed the pledge to stop using plastic.
The plastic reduction pledge commits signatories to:
- stop using single-use plastic stirrers and straws by April this year, except when a person has a specific need
- stop using single-use plastic cutlery, plates or expanded polystyrene/oxo-degradable plastic cups by April next year
- cut down on single-use plastic food containers and other plastic drinks cups by April next year – including covers and lids
HRCH is already meeting the first two pledges and is no longer using single-use plastic food containers. It also aims to replace plastic lids with bamboo ones.
After that, the trust aims to reduce plastic waste from gloves, gowns and hygiene products as much as clinically possible, while working with its supply chain to reduce plastic packaging.