A medical products manufacturer that uses single-use paper pulp instead of reusable plastic has spoken out about the benefits of its anti-plastic business model.
Bolton-headquartered Vernacare invented a single-use system for patient toileting through the use of recycled paper pulp more than half a century ago.
The paper-based products have always been cheaper and more efficient to use than mainstream reusable plastic bedpans, but have now taken on a new dimension in the war against plastic that has been dominating the media in recent months.
‘Ahead of the curve’
“We’ve always been ahead of the curve when it comes to our environmental impact”, said international sales and marketing director, Hakeem Adebiyi, to The Bolton News.
"When the business first began 50 years ago, we recycled over-issued newsprint to create our products that make up the Vernacare system. Back then, climate change and reducing plastics weren’t global concerns, but our system is not only quicker and more effective than the plastic equivalent, it is also gentler on the environment too.
Efficiency over reusability
Vernacare uses 6,000 tonnes of recycled, over-issued newsprint every year, all manufactured in Bolton.
The final product uses 60 per cent less water and 96 per cent less energy to produce than reusable plastic alternatives, and takes six weeks to disintegrate at end-of-life rather than hundreds of years.
Julie Dickinson, national sales manager, added: “If a hospital is using plastic bedpans, they would not only be compromising patient safety with the risk of cross-infection, but their energy usage and costs will be higher by using bedpan washers disinfectors. That’s why we believe we’re leaders in our industry and encouraging hospitals to 'pass on plastic’.”