The first phase of the Towards plastic-free healthcare project successfully concluded in September 2021 and has given participants a greater understanding of plastic use and solutions in healthcare settings. It has further provided momentum for plastic action in the healthcare sector.

The long-term objective of this project is to reduce the negative impact that plastics from the European healthcare sector have on both human health and the environment. This project aims to transform current practices so that plastic use is reduced within the European healthcare sector and to support the sector in transitioning to a circular economy model.

The project will continue for another 12 months as we continue to conduct plastic waste audits in healthcare as well as introduce new Circular Healthcare training and a communications campaign with project partners.

Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, our project partners remain motivated to reduce plastic use in healthcare. The pandemic has in fact starkly revealed the negative consequences of healthcare’s overreliance on single-use plastics, with disruptions in supply chains and shortages of essential supplies hindering the safe delivery of care, as well as the difficulty of handling mountains of waste. Healthcare’s plastic problem is now more visible than ever and healthcare professionals are increasingly aware of the need to address plastic use in healthcare. . .

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