"Concerned about plastic waste"

About: Bunbury Hospital / Emergency Department

(as the patient),

I had cause to be in Bunbury Hospital recently, the care from staff in emergency and on the ward was excellent. Upon receiving my breakfast I was struck by the large quantity of plastic waste on my tray, from plastic milk bottle to orange juice container to bag for my cereals and container for the fruit, imagine the amount of waste from one person/one meal in just one week. Surely something can be done to reduce this huge amount, hopefully most of it was recycled. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a photo, so here’s hoping for some result.


Response from Glen Gates, A/ Manager - Administration & Support, Bunbury Hospital, WACHS South West

Dear Rubbish,

Thank you for taking the time to let us know you received excellent care when in Emergency and on the Ward at Bunbury Hospital – we will pass on your feedback to our teams. We also appreciate your concern about the quantity of plastic packaging that is a part of the meal service.

An important part of delivering quality care is a strict approach towards maintaining infection control and meeting patient’s individual dietary requirements. At the same time we actively use washable items to minimise the use of plastic – such as crockery plates and cups, insulated containers, steel cutlery, glasses and water jugs. The hospital cooks fresh for every meal service which minimises the level of plastic and we have an excellent system of collecting food waste which is composted. We also use paper bags to deliver clean cutlery, fresh bread or toast and offer fresh fruit to further reduce plastic waste.

To maintain patient safety and provide consistent portion control, a number of products are single serve items which are packaged in plastic. Many of these containers are being recycled and with the introduction of the container deposit scheme in early 2020 we expect even more will be captured and recycled. There is always a chance to do more, and our suppliers are being asked about ways they can replace plastic with biodegradable packaging.

Thank you again for your feedback and encouraging our efforts to continually find ways to reduce the use of energy, water and the amount of waste.


Glenn Gates

A/Manager – Administration and Support

Bunbury Hospital

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