The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) has seen significant reduction in the usage of single-use plastics in its two acute hospitals. 

The hospital service provider cut single use plastics usage by a total of 47% in Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH) and Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) in Telford.

Compared to last year, the numbers of plastic cups ordered has also decreased.

SaTH senior catering manager Trish Purfit said: “We have been working hard to reduce the amount of plastic waste at our hospitals. Ordering 881,400 fewer plastic cups is just the start.”

As part of NHS England’s national initiative to reduce waste and protect the environment, SaTH’s Catering Department signed up to the ‘NHS Plastics Pledge’ last year.

The service provider has already replaced single-use plastic straws, cutlery and polystyrene takeaway containers from its onsite catering outlets with recyclable materials such as paper straws, corn starch cutlery and compostable takeaway containers.

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Additionally, RSH and PRH are supporting the use of china cups on all wards, where clinically appropriate.

SaTH corporate service director Julia Clarke said: “As a Trust we want to discourage ‘throwaway culture’ as much as possible. It’s great to see that the support and commitment from the catering team is having a positive impact on decreasing the amount of single-use plastic in our hospitals.”

In April last year, the radiotherapy team at RSH developed an ‘ingenious’ way to reduce the amount of plastic going to landfill.

The team provided prostate cancer patients with their own drinks bottle for their radiotherapy treatment in the Lingen Davies Centre at the hospital.