Ramsay to ban 24 million plastic items per year
Ramsay Australia has pledged to ban a range of single-use plastic items from all its facilities by World Environment Day in June 2020.
Rainwater and battery
make a difference on
Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital is saving
up to 21,000 litres of water per day by
re-using rain water.
Single Use Approx. Quantity
Plastic Item Per Year
Denture Cup 133,000
Denture Lid 65,000
Drinking Cup 7,068,000
Drinking Lid 3,359,000
Medication Cup 6,575,000
Kidney Dish 610,000
TOTAL 24,717,000 items
Three large water holding tanks have been installed under
the carpark. Water is pumped from these tanks to the fourth
floor of the hospital and used for flushing toilets.
The hospital is making a number of environmentally-friendly
changes to encourage sustainability.
Enough batteries to fill a 120-litre wheelie bin are being
recycled every three months.
The batteries are collected from the hospital’s wards and
theatres and are generally used in intravenous machines and
other medical equipment which require back up power.
The metallic components in rechargeable batteries, as well
as precious metals (such as silver, iron and mercury) found
in single-use batteries, can all be recycled.
Hospital staff have also started saving
approximately 45 cubic metres of
cardboard from ending up
in landfill each week,
through two onsite
provided by J & J
Peel Health Campus recognised for water efficiencies
Peel Health Campus (PHC) has been recognised by the Water Corporation for reducing its water consumption levels by 13 per cent, or 450 litres per patient bed day.
Reaching the status of ‘most water wise’ in Western Australia’s
‘Water Wise Business Program’,
PHC’s new Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Tome, says
the hospital is committed to managing its water use
“It is rewarding to see such a significant reduction in our
water consumption thanks to the efforts of our building and
engineering team and staff across the hospital,” Mr Tome said.
4 The Ramsay Way 2019 | 04
“It really goes to show what can be achieved through small
The hospital’s multi-faceted approach to water conservation
• Staff education on water wise issues, such as using the half
flush on toilets and reporting leaks
• Prompt repair of water leaks
• Planting of native trees to reduce irrigation in hospital grounds
• Timers to shut down evaporative air conditioners out of hours
• Automatic stop button on the main dishwasher conveyor to
prevent continuous operation of the dishwasher when empty
• Careful selection of new equipment that uses water to choose
most water-efficient models
• Water wise shower heads fitted to all showers
Mr Tome said the hospital was also looking at a raft of other
strategies to help reduce its carbon footprint.
John Flynn staff turn
to composting to
John Flynn Private Hospital is saving nearly three
tonnes of food from going to land fill each month,
with a renewed focus on composting.
The hospital has implemented a new organic waste stream
for all food waste, which composts scraps from the kitchen
and left-overs from the staff canteen and patient meals.
It has also introduced biodegradable plates, cutlery
and napkins – all of which can be composted – leading
to the removal of a dozen 240 litre bins filled with compost
Throughout the entire hospital, coffee cups have also been
replaced with new ones made from plant-based materials.
John Flynn Private Hospital Catering Manager, Daniel Walker,
said: “They look greener, they are biodegradable which is
great and the feedback from staff and patients has been
These items – including drinking cups, plates, straws,
kidney dishes and cutlery – make up more than
24 million plastic items that Ramsay will eliminate
from the environment each year.
Banned items have been selected on the basis of:
• Being predominantly non-clinical and of low risk and
• Having a high level of community support to remove
• Having suitable alternatives available
• Having corporate supply arrangements that can be
Single-use plastic waste is a global menace, with items
such as straws, water bottles and bags accounting for
more than 40 per cent of pollution.
About eight million tonnes of plastic reportedly ends
up in the ocean every year – the equivalent of dumping
the contents of a garbage truck every minute.
Ramsay Health Care has recently undertaken extensive
staff focus groups globally to examine how to better
address sustainability across the business – and waste
reduction was identified as a major area of focus.
National Environment Manager Sue Panuccio said:
“Rather than wait until legislation is enacted around
single-use plastics in Australia, we wanted to take a
“We are serious about developing initiatives that
advance the health and wellbeing of both current and
future generations – and protecting the environment is
a crucial part of this.”
“This new initiative to remove 24 million single-use
plastic items per year is something we are really
Ramsay is currently investigating a range of other
waste-reduction strategies to continue delivering
environmentally sustainable outcomes.
Baringa turns plastic
into donations for
Staff at Baringa Private Hospital have recycled
30,000 plastic water bottles in a year to raise money
for various local charities.
The hospital started collecting water bottles to donate to
a local scout group 18 months ago. The bottles were then
taken to a nearby recycling centre, where the group obtained
money for their donations through New South Wales’
container deposit scheme, Return and Earn.
Baringa has recently chosen two new organisations to assist
through donations: the RSPCA and the Special Education
Unit at Toormina High School.
Baringa staff donate their plastic bottles to the RSPCA, which
then receives about $60 each month for the recycling effort.
Students from Toormina’s Special Education Unit take the
bottles to the recycling centre themselves and use the funds
for resource materials.