Support to government from BIVDA for COP26 climate goals
The British In Vitro Diagnostics Association (BIVDA) has written to the President of COP26, Alok Sharma MP, to offer the support of the industry for the forthcoming COP26 summit in Glasgow.
BIVDA and its members have been at the forefront of the response to the pandemic, working closely with colleagues at NHS England and the Department for Health and Social Care during this challenging period. As part of this cross-industry effort, with the unprecedented scaling up of production and use of testing apparatus, PPE and disposable medical equipment, countries around the world have seen a steep and sudden increase in demand for medical waste processing.
There is an urgent need to tackle this issue and ensure these products, predominantly plastic, are recycled or disposed of in a sustainable and carbon-neutral fashion. BIVDA have recently established an Environmental Working Party to coordinate efforts to develop tests that can be produced and disposed of, or recycled, in a sustainable manner.
Commenting on the offer of assistance to the government, BIVDA Chief Executive Doris-Ann Williams said: “Even before the pandemic, the NHS produced 5.4% of the UK’s carbon emissions, a figure that will have only increased over the last 12 months. The IVD industry is keen to play its part in making our sector more sustainable. We are beginning work with sector partners to consider schemes to encourage the development and use of reusable and recyclable testing equipment and more environmentally friendly ways of disposing of unavoidable medical waste. This will help to ensure that the NHS and associated bodies and industries can contribute to reducing our carbon emissions in line with our Paris commitments and in the spirit of the forthcoming COP26 meeting.”
Chair of the BIVDA Environmental Working Party, Neil Plumridge said: “Only a coordinated response from our industry can ensure that our testing equipment, both for COVID-19 and other conditions, can be produced and disposed of in a sustainable and carbon-neutral manner, helping the UK to meet its COP26 and Paris Agreement goals. BIVDA is already discussing next steps with partners in the NHS and Local Government on how to roll out recycling for rapid COVID-19 tests. We look forward to discussing with the COP26 team in Government how our newly formed Environmental Working Party can help the sector to meet these goals, whilst delivering safe and high quality diagnostics to the NHS and wider healthcare sector.”