Chemicals and Plastics

Unnecessary single-use products and plastics as well as toxic chemicals are commonly used in healthcare threatening human health and contributing to environmental pollution - despite the fact that viable alternatives exist.

Harmful chemicals, such as endocrine disruptors, carcinogens, mutagens, and substances toxic to reproduction, are widely present in healthcare products, including medical devices; textiles, disinfectants, and plastics.

At the same time, plastics have become indispensable in the healthcare sector. Though essential for healthcare delivery in some cases, plastic can negatively affect both human health and the environment at each stage of its life cycle - from production, to use and disposal.

Circular Healthcare

Over-reliance on disposable plastics not only has significant consequences for our planet, but threatens the resilience of our healthcare systems. 

Based on current consumption, plastic production is projected to double in the next 20 years and triple by 2060. Increased plastic production will only lead to greater negative impacts on our environment and our health and will further complicate plastic waste management.

The healthcare sector must move away from unnecessary single-use products and toxic chemicals and become a torchbearer for sustainable supply chains. Its scale and huge purchasing power mean it is ideally placed to push for reusable, non-toxic solutions that save natural resources, reduce waste, and are better for patients, budgets, and the planet.

How can I get involved?

Building toxic-free and circular healthcare

Find out more about our Circular Healthcare programme.

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Get involved in our projects decreasing plastic and phasing out toxic chemicals in healthcare.

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