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Suite of NHS tools to aid more haste and less waste
Kevin Cundy, Head of Sales and Marketing for Mauser UK & Ireland, examines how a new suite of NHS tools is helping to close the ‘knowing-doing’ gap in sustainable healthcare waste management.
The knowing-doing gap is defined as the disconnect between the knowledge we have and the action we take in response. It is present in our everyday lives at home, in education and in business.
There are multiple reasons for such gaps in the corporate world, for example organisational roadblocks, a lack of measurable targets or a shortage of resources. But the bottom line is, although knowledge is important, it is a moot point if we fail to take the important next step of turning it into action.
Most humans on the planet have the knowledge of the undeniable environmental challenges we face, yet historically, there has been a gap when it comes to practical actions in response to the facts.
Bridging the gap
The good news is, things are changing. As a nation, we are bridging that gap with sustainable technologies, stronger legislation, and quantifiable targets to help us to act on our knowledge and measure what matters.
Seemingly small-scale changes and innovations are collectively making a difference. Wind and solar power produced more of the EU’s electricity than fossil gas for the first time last year, the ozone layer on track to recover within decades, and more than 100 countries now have a full or partial ban on single-use plastic bags.
Within Daniels Healthcare, we are making our own contributions to environmental sustainability such as:
- Taking 90 lorries, and their associated pollution, off the roads through more efficient delivery processes.
- Seamlessly transitioning NHS Trusts to the new SHARPSGUARD® eco containersmade from at least 40% recycled content.
- Launched our innovative SHARPSGUARD® eco pharmi range and WIVA Infinity Series made from 100% recycled plastic, which collectively will see up to a 1230 tonne reduction in virgin plastic use.
- A newly-installed hybrid container production machine is making carbon savings and using less energy.
- Quicker manufacturing times and lower manufacturing temperatures is reducing our energy consumption.
These are just a few of our more recent examples, you can read more in our Sustainability Promise. We are exploring, testing and collaborating on some more exciting sustainability innovations that we hope to be able to share with you soon.
No time to waste
Another positive step in closing a knowing-doing gap came in the form of a trio of tools to support sustainable healthcare waste management from NHS England last month.
These three substantial tools are a practical application of all that we know about how healthcare waste management can be prioritised, improved and measured to create a more sustainable healthcare system and reduce carbon emissions.
- NHS clinical waste strategy – this ambitious strategy sets a bold direction of travel for reforming the management of clinical waste which will lead to a 30% reduction in carbon emissions from clinical waste and includes specific actions and measurable targets. The strategy commits all NHS providers to achieve clinical waste segregation targets of 20:20:60 HTI (high-temperature incineration), AT (alternative treatment), and OW (offensive waste) by 2026.
- (HTM 07-01) Management and disposal of healthcare waste – this 2023 version replaces the 2013 edition and includes the environmental benefits of the safe management and disposal of healthcare waste. It also now features opportunities to reduce carbon emissions related to the management of waste.
- Waste carbon reduction tool – a new tool to support trusts with their waste management decisions, improve waste segregation, and help to reduce waste related carbon emissions. It can be used to assess the cost and environmental impact of any decisions, allowing for outcomes to be quantified.
This step change in waste management practices will result in better segregation of clinical waste saving costs and carbon, helping the NHS meet its ‘net zero’ carbon emissions targets by 2040.
As a key supplier to the NHS, Daniels Healthcare provides a range of products and free support services that can help Trusts to reduce waste and emissions. Click here to find out all the ways we help trusts to address clinical waste segregation.
For more information on how we can help you, contact our Customer Support Team on 01865 371841 or by email info.healthcareUK@mauserpackaging.com. Alternatively, you can contact your Local Area Manager.