Protecting mother earth
Posted on September 18
Hello again, I hope you are well. A couple of weeks ago I was invited to go into BBC Radio Humberside again. This time it was a totally different topic to anything I’ve spoken about before. Not the sugar tax, not the increase in dental general anaesthetics for young kids for teeth out, not about my charity (Dental Mavericks), not about dental lasers or anything about the dentistry directly related to people having it done on a health level. It was about plastics.In particular, single use plastics.
Back at the BBC on the James Piekos Show (he was a really nice bloke). I knew I was thinning on top a good bit but looking really shiny under those lights. Looking a bit different with shiny head and glasses to the pic above eh. Maybe time to change it soon.
Close to my heart
It was an early start on a Monday morning (7-15) and my first day back after my summer hols! Now this is a subject close to my heart. At work and at home we are always looking to reduce plastic consumption and recycle whenever possible. Personally, I’ve stopped using shampoo (from the picture above you probably think I don’t need to) and shower gel because of the plastics. I now use a natural all in one bar of soap/shampoo with no additives and it comes in a cardboard box from a sustainable source!
This will be perfect for my imminent Dental Mavericks trip to Morocco. I’ve got some for my son Edward to take as well.
Quite a few constraints
Within a dental practice the main thing is cross infection control and protecting our patients and the whole team is of paramount importance. As you can imagine there is now a great deal of legislation and tick boxes about all this stuff. There has been a big push to use single use items to reduce/eliminate the risk of cross infection. I can understand this to a point. Now contaminated disposable items that are mainly plastic do get incinerated at very high temperature (about 1100 degrees C for 6 hours). I understand that there are scavenger systems to reduce the greenhouse gases and, in some places, they actually save the energy produced so use the plastics as a fuel. So, there is some improvement in reducing the environmental impact. As I have said anything that is not contaminated, we recycle where we can. James Piekos came out with a very good point. He mentioned Morrisons supermarket are recycling waste plastic packaging that you buy from them; now that I didn’t realise. He then said that maybe our suppliers could maybe do the same. What a very good point.
Suffocating the planet
As a practice we have looked at ways to reduce plastic waste. Let’s face it, the planet is suffocating. We have a water dispenser for our patients (a God send on hot days). For this we are using biodegradable plastic cups. However, I’ve done further research on this. It appears that for efficient bio-degradation they need to be in an industrial composter with the correct bacteria and enzymes. So, we will be installing a new dishwasher (not in the patient lounge) and going back to glasses. We use ceramic cups for tea and coffee in the patient lounge as well. We have a few bamboo cups upstairs in the kitchen. We need pure water for our autoclaves (steriliser machines). Instead of buying in plastic bottles of the stuff we have a reverse osmosis water purification system. Every little counts.
So, lets all be mindful of the damage plastics are doing to our world. I’m researching mores ways and initiatives all the time. I may be able to share some soon. Until next time. Take care and be good.