Image: Medical examination glove floating in the waters. Location: Centennial Beach, British Columbia, Canada. Image taken by: Jacqueline P. Ashby.

“The widespread lack of an efficient medical recycling system represents a part of the bigger problem with the industry as a whole. In a commentary on healthcare’s role in the global climate crisis, Yale School of Medicine associate professor of anaesthesiology Jodi Sherman called environmental sustainability an ‘unappreciated dimension of health quality care’. She and her co-authors also pointed out that traditional assessments in the successes or failures in the healthcare system as a whole have yet to factor in the cost of pollution both up and downstream of the industry’s supply chain, from resource extraction to disposal management.

With medical waste currently more visible than ever, researchers are calling for healthcare’s waste and environmental footprint to be brought up the agenda. ‘Coronavirus could well become a catalyst, because people may realise that by degrading our environment, we could find that we are getting more and more of these types of diseases,’ says Roschnik.

‘Do we as a people want to live this way? Or do we say: if we want to be healthy, our planet needs to be healthy – and it’s incumbent on all of us to do something about it.’”

More here on How do you fix healthcare’s medical waste problem? via BBC.

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