Health minister requires plastic waste reduction in medical sector

Thursday, 2019-08-01 10:03:26
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NDO – The minister of health has urged the relevant health facilities, agencies, organisations, and medical staff to take active measures to reduce plastic waste, in response to the direction from the Prime Minister asking for plastic waste decline in the health sector.

In the medical field, plastic waste arises from various sources, including from daily activities of health workers, patients and their family members and health service users; from professional medical activities, such as packaging for medicines, chemicals, tools, equipment and supplies; and from research, production and trading of medicines, raw materials for medicines and chemicals.

Plastic materials used in these activities can be replaced by environmentally friendly and safer materials if there is determination and cooperation of all the medical staff and the people.

Therefore, the health minister requires all medical facilities to issue plans and organise their implementation to reduce plastic waste in their operation, with clearly set targets and a timetable for enhancing oral drug administration and the use of medical supplies, equipment, packaging and storage for drugs and chemicals made from environmentally friendly or reusable materials during the examination and treatment of patients, as well as to reduce plastic waste generation in research, testing and other medical professional activities.

The minister also urges to limit the use of bags, bottles, cups, bowls, plates, straws and other items made from single-use plastic or hard-to-dispose plastic in the meals of patients, their family members and medical staff, as well as during the meetings, conferences, seminars and training of medical units.

They are encouraged to replace plastic items with those made from environmentally friendly or reusable materials, towards completely putting an end to the use of disposable plastic materials and non-biodegradable nylon.

The facilities are also asked to urged their member units to sign commitments on reducing plastic waste, while promoting research and applying effective solutions to minimise plastic waste in medical activities, helping to ensure safety for patients, communities and the environment.

For units under the Ministry of Health and provincial health departments, it is necessary to limit and head towards eliminating the use of bags, bottles, cups, straws and other objects made from disposable plastic or non-biodegradable nylon at meetings, conferences, workshops, training and other activities, while replacing them with items made from environmentally friendly or reusable materials.

An emulation movement mobilising the entire medical staff to reduce and proceed to not to use disposable plastic products and plastic bags that are difficult to decompose should be launched.