In this The Australian article, Erin Lyons reports on the plastic waste crisis that is being exacerbated by the Covid-19 vaccination rollout. Below is an excerpt or read the full article here.
Doctors and nurses are joining the war on waste after disturbing images reveal a grim plastic waste problem that has made worse by the Covid pandemic.
The scale of the problem – about 70 million pieces of plastic in landfill – is more evident now than ever with the healthcare system relying on single-use plastic during the Covid vaccine rollout.
Images shared by NSW Circular, a government funded organisation that promotes recycling, have given a grim insight into the mammoth amount of syringe caps being discarded.
Each jab involves a range of single-use plastics, including syringe caps and the syringe itself which add up to hundreds of kilos.
And NSW Circular is desperate to do something about it.
The organisation is working with St Vincents for a recycling trial, during which, they collected 80,000 pieces of plastic waste that weighed 205kgs – equivalent to 41,000 plastic bags.
The scheme has since expanded to include a vaccine hub in Newcastle, where 170kg of plastic caps from Covid jabs have been collected in just a few weeks.
NSW Circular said collecting waste produced from the vaccine rollout across NSW’s public health system could save nearly 70 million pieces of plastic from landfill – this would total about 150 tonnes.