Barnsley Hospital, an acute general hospital in the UK, has revealed plans to eliminate single-use plastic cups.

The announcement was made by the Barnsley Hospital National Health Service (NHS) Foundation Trust as it marked the NHS’s Sustainability Day on 4 June.

It is in line with the Trust’s long-term sustainability commitment to deliver a net-zero NHS, as well as its goal to make a more positive impact on the environment.

The Trust will now stop providing plastic cups at water coolers and dispensers, encouraging the use of paper cups instead.

Barnsley Hospital chief delivery officer and deputy chief executive Bob Kirton said: “We have taken a very important step that signals our commitment to eliminating single-use plastics at The Trust.

“We will still need to source products made from plastic materials, but we will aim to source alternative products that are reusable or are more sustainable and better for the environment. We believe our staff will fully support us in making this change”.

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As a signatory of the NHS Single-Use Plastic Reduction Pledge, Barnsley Hospital is required to reduce and eliminate single-use plastics.

In 2018, the NHS purchased 163 million plastic cups, two million plastic stirrers, 16 million pieces of plastic cutlery and 15 million straws.

Barnsley Hospital used a total of 577,200 plastic cups, comparable to 1.44t of plastic waste.

The hospital had previously eliminated single-use plastic cutlery and plastic stirrers from its operations.

Last September, the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) reduced its single-use plastics usage by 47% across the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH) and Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital (PRH).