NHS staff want hospitals to engage and educate on recycling

NHS employees want more clearly signposted recycling facilities within their place of work and better communication on how to responsibly dispose of waste materials, new research has shown.

A study from drinks can recycling programme, Every Can Counts, has revealed that while 58% of NHS trusts operate mixed recycling facilities, staff are often not aware of their presence.

In relation to drinks packaging material, research revealed that 59% of NHS workers consume one or more drinks can at work while 80% of employeses expect there to be dedicated drinks can recycling facilities in their staff areas.

As a result Every Can Counts will be supporting a number of NHS trusts to develop and run recycling communications campaigns for staff to raise awareness and encourage participation.

The wider aims of the campaign aim to assist NHS in meeting its sustainability targets in line with the UK Climate Change Act – the NHS has committed to reduce its carbon footprint by 50% by 2025.

NHS trusts that sign up to the programme will be provided with recycling resources that include eye-catching collection boxes and promotional materials.

Participating trusts will also benefit from a communications programme intended to educate staff about the benefits of recycling, including the fact that all drinks cans are 100% recyclable. The programme will encourage trusts to recruit a team of dedicated recycling champions.

The launch of the initiative follows the announcement that the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital has reduced its waste sent to landfill by 23% since launching Every Can Counts in its staff areas, and now recycles approximately 5,000 drinks cans a week.

Commenting on the campaign, Rick Hindley at Every Can Counts said that drinks can recycling can really make a difference in terms of reducing carbon impacts.

“The recycling process saves 95% of the energy and CO2 emissions compared to making a metal from raw materials, so every can recycled cuts the carbon footprint of the next can made, and we can help promote this message to NHS workers,” he said.

Maxine Perella

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