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Reducing the volume of single-use plastic: an award-winning solution

As the exclusive partner for Shuttlepac in the UK and Ireland, here Alpha Laboratories provides the context and background to an award won by the cost-effective, user-friendly and UN3373-compliant ShuttlePouch range of leakproof pouches.

In recent years we have all become more aware of the problems plastic causes to our environment and the need massively to reduce the amount of plastic waste we create. It is estimated that since the 1950s, humans have produced over 8.3 billion tons of plastic. Public concern for the extent of the problem of plastic waste has only been raised in more recent years, through documentaries such as David Attenborough’s Blue Planet or by activists like Greta Thunberg. The British government has launched the 25 Year Environment Plan, which has pledged to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste by 2042. This will include the abolishment of plastic straws, carrier bags and food packaging.

Plastic in healthcare

Unfortunately, much of the single-use plastic in healthcare is seemingly unavoidable, with 25% of the waste generated by hospitals being plastic. The use of plastic gloves and masks in hospitals is integral to protect healthcare workers from disease. Plastic is an extremely desirable material for hospitals and other healthcare environments because it is low cost, very easily processed, very lightweight and able to be sterilised very easily. Plastic can even be modified to have a bacteria-resistant coating to help protect workers.

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