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NHS returns to china cups and saucers in war on disposable cups

Hospitals are bringing back china crockery as an investigation reveals the NHS has used more than 600 million disposable cups in the last five years.The findings follow warnings from the chief medical officer that the NHS is a “significant polluter” creating “huge amounts” of waste that is threatening the environment.Data obtained through Freedom of Information requests show that NHS trusts in England have purchased 609,830,335 disposable cups since 2013.One London trust, Guy’s and St Thomas’, purchased almost 30 million cups over the period.The news comes amid rising concern over the environmental impact of single-use throwaway items.Charity Greenpeace UK said the figures from 174 NHS acute, mental health and community trusts demonstrate “just how out of control our relationship with single-use plastic has become”.NHS trusts said they were tackling the problem by bringing back china, and banning use of disposable cups on the wards.The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust said patients have access to china cups and glassware in a bid to reduce the volume of single-use disposable items.”This not only improves the patient experience but reduces waste volumes,” the trust said.York Hospital said its wards also used crockery for drinks.Figures from Barts Health NHS trust in London show it has halved the number of disposable cups used, while Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust said most of its cups were recyclable.

DylanThomas

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