Ramsay Health Care, which owns Southern Highlands Private Hospital, has set an ambitious target for 2022 to help reduce its impact on the planet.
After removing more than 25 million single-use plastic items from its sites in just 18 months, Ramsay Health Care is committing to swap out a total of 50 million single-use plastic items - such as medicine cups, anaesthetic and injection trays - for environmentally friendly alternatives.
In the 18 months, Southern Highlands Private Hospital has replaced 257,000 single use plastic items with more sustainable alternatives.
The partnership with Baxter Health Care to recycle PVC into garden hoses has meant that 11 bins, which roughly equates to 261 kg of PVC have been saved from landfill.
Ramsay Health Care Australia CEO, Carmel Monaghan, said the company was committed to working toward this even loftier target by the end of 2022.
"We have seen what a big difference some small changes can make to the environment and the future of our planet," Ms Monaghan said.
"After hitting 25 million in the first 18 months of the initiative, we want to double that and remove a total of 50 million single-use plastic items from landfill by the end of this year."
In the same 18 month period, all Ramsay Health Care sites have also switched from single-use plastics water bottles for patients to reusable alternatives, saving an estimated nine million additional items from landfill.
Ramsay's National Environment Manager Sue Panuccio said the support for the initiative from patients and staff was overwhelming.
"Reducing waste, particularly single-use plastics, is an initiative that our people have been very passionate about," Ms Panuccio said.
"The National Waste Report 2020 stated that only 13 percent of plastic used in Australia is recycled. What isn't recycled ends up in landfill, or worse, in our oceans.
"As a country surrounded by water, reducing plastic waste is something we can all relate to. In fact, concerns from our patients and staff about the number of single use plastic water bottles we were using was one catalyst for this initiative which now forms part of our Ramsay Cares sustainability strategy.
"The first items to go were plastic plates, cutlery and straws, and thanks to suggestions from our people we are now looking at additional plastic items to replace with sustainable alternatives.
"With the support of our people and our patients I think we're in a good position to be able to reach our target of keeping 50 million single use plastic items out of landfill by December this year."
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