WREXHAM Maelor Hospital has stopped using plastic water bottles, saving 80 tonnes of CO2e, and £75,000 per year. 

There has been an increase in plastic pollution during the Covid-19 pandemic, and as a result, the Wrexham Maelor Green Group has launched a safe drinking water scheme from designated kitchen taps in all clinical areas. 

Ellie McCance, sustainability scholar (Centre for Sustainable Healthcare), and speciality registrar in ophthalmology launched the project.

She says she was concerned by the increasing amount of plastic waste being generated, and questioned the rationale, and sustainability of plastic water bottle use by hospital staff and patients. 

Read more: BBC documentary highlights NHS pressures in North Wales

Ellie added: “Covid-19 resulted in a wave of 500ml plastic bottles onto our site. Our use has amounted to half a million water bottles per year, needlessly being added to the waste-stream. 

“Estates management, and our site water safety group have confirmed that all areas have access to potable, safe drinking water, and patient drinking receptacles are thermo-disinfected centrally for safe reuse. 

“Wrexham Green Group have been working closely with stakeholders and management, and we’re delighted that we will no longer have these plastic bottles in circulation, in favour of tap water. Our tap water is tested regularly, and as before, remains safe to drink. As part of the safe water scheme, labels will clearly indicate the potable water sources in each area for staff, and patients to see. 

“We can now celebrate turning the tide on the plastic bottle tsunami.” 

As a result, this will save 80 tonnes of CO2e, the same amount of carbon generated from 21 return flights between London and Hong Kong, and it will save the hospital £75,000 per year.