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  • Gavin Smith

Plastic Bag Reduction - a Dunedin success

In 2020, Alsco Dunedin collaborated with the Southern District Health Board (SDHB) to eliminate/minimise onsite waste, focusing on plastic bags used in the delivery of Alsco’s rental face cloths. This was consistent with Dunedin’s Budget Achievement plan under its OSH and Environmental commitment. This plan aimed to reduce waste at all levels.


Alsco Dunedin approached the SDHB and floated the idea of eliminating the plastic bag delivery of 25 face cloths, by changing to a laundry bag delivery of 100 face cloths. This gathered great momentum from their Green Champion Team. The branch trialed the service to three wards of the hospital initially, with great feedback. Storage in the linen rooms was much improved with having the laundry bags on hooks complimenting the elimination of the waste. There was also an added benefit for to Alsco’s processing, with an efficiency gain inpacking bags of 100, instead of 25.

 


“We identified the SDHB as our main user of the plastic bags on average 27,040 per year based on the 2019 consumption. Another motivator for making this change was with the national volumes of the supermarket sized bags being reduced, the bag cost was increasing from our suppliers."

Dean Muir ALSCO DUNEDIN BRANCH MANAGER



 

Message from ...


Heather Fleming

District Service Manager SDHB


"This initiative resonated with our staff, especially when the number of plastic bags to be removed from our waste system was understood. Our sustainability committee was really pleased ( as per the quote below) and many of my clinical colleagues commented positively on this great green initiative. It’s amazing that this simple change of process can have such a major impact and our DHB really appreciates Alsco’s initiative in removing these.


As contract manager for the Laundry contract, I too am delighted to work in partnership with an environmentally minded partner to make a positive difference. I look forward to many more"


 


Heather also included this excerpt from minutes of a meeting of SDHB Sustainability Committee...


Alsco face cloths – Alsco are now delivering face cloths in reusable bags, instead of single use bags saving more than 39,000 plastic bags from landfill per annum. Great work Alsco!