The Ramsay Way 2019 | 04 5
North Shore Private Hospital phases out single
use plastic straws
Hundreds of plastic straws have been replaced with the paper equivalent at North Shore Private Hospital,
as part of a push to become more environmentally friendly.
Previously, the hospital had provided approximately
750 plastic straws per day to patients during meal times.
Health, Safety and Environment Manager, Samantha Grant,
said: “The straws are now distributed to patients on an as-needed
basis, which is working really well and also saving
a lot of waste.”
Plastic sandwich cases provided to patients, staff and visitors
have also been replaced by paper or biodegradable material,
which stops at least 200 plastic cases from going to landfill
The hospital has also reduced its use of plastic bottles.
The installation of a filtered water tap in the education room
saves the use of up to 60 bottles each conference.
“The changes have really come from the staff’s interest in
becoming more sustainable,” Mrs Grant said.
Other changes made by the hospital include a 75 per cent
increase in the use of silver cutlery, substituting plastic
spoons for wooden stirrers, and eliminating tray mats from
patient meal trays.
Nowra Private’s war
on waste helps the
Food products which have not been used at Nowra
Private Hospital are being donated to the local
homeless hub to help those doing it tough in
Around 12 kilograms of returned portion-controlled food,
which would normally go to waste, is being taken to the
Nowra Homeless Hub each week to feed the community.
The items include 150mL milk bottles, cereals, spreads,
juices, fruit compotes and jellies.
Staff from the hospital are also saving plastic water bottles
for St Vincent de Paul’s Container Deposit Scheme, which has
raised $1,034 for the charity since January and saved more
than 10,000 bottles from going to landfill.
Hotel services manager, Adam Godfrey, said: “In the future
we would like to recycle all soft plastics, bread bags, frozen
vegetable bags and juice cups.”
Cairns Private Hospital supports initiative to turn
bottle tops into prosthetic hands for children
Staff at Cairns Private Hospital are donating hundreds of plastic bottles tops each week to be converted into
prosthetic aids for children in need.
3D printers are used to turn the recycled plastic into
prosthetic hands, as part of a not-for-profit “Envision Hands”
environmental and humanitarian initiative.
Registered nurse, Michelle Thompson, said: “When I read
what they did it was such an overwhelming sense of joy.
It is minimal to no effort to achieve something that is going
to change a child’s life.”
Mrs Thompson initially emailed a request to her colleagues
to collect the lids to help her son’s school; by the end of the
first week she had received more than 1000 lids.
Each unit at Cairns Private Hospital now has its own
collection bin and Michelle has started donating directly
to the charity.
“At the end of each week, I take the collections home and
sort through them and give the staff feedback. It has been
getting bigger and bigger every week,” Mrs Thompson said.
The plastic tops are almost entirely made from high density
poly-ethylene, which can be used to create functioning filler
for 3D printers.
The filler is used to print all components that make up
prosthetic hands, which are then distributed to children
“It takes 370
lids to create
and, so far,
The charity is fitting the prosthetic hands for free, for
children from a couple of years old, right up to teenagers.
So far, the prosthetics have been distributed to children in
Australia and India.
Cairns Private Hospital, CEO Ben Tooth, said: “I am
extremely proud of the way the staff have come together
to support this initiative and it has been a testament to the
positive culture and teamwork that I see on a daily basis.”
Staff at Cairns Private Hospital plan to collect the bottle