February 1, 2023

A more environmentally friendly health service

Northern Health is becoming more environmentally friendly, as part of the Victorian Government’s ban of the sale and supply of single-use plastics.

From today, 1 February, the following items can no longer be purchased or supplied:

  • drinking straws, cutlery (including knives, forks, spoons, chopsticks, sporks, splades, and food picks)
  • plates
  • drink stirrers
  • cotton bud sticks
  • expanded polystyrene food and drink containers.
  • items made from conventional, degradable and compostable materials, including bioplastics.

The ban applies state-wide to businesses and organisations, including not-for-profits, governments, sports clubs, schools and others that are incorporated.

Henry’s Cafe at Northern Hospital Epping will transition to paper cutlery and straws. Cafe 1231 at Bundoora Centre will remove all plastics and use bio-degradable products. Cutlery, paper plates and containers will also be wooden at Cafe 1231.

The above plastic items will no longer be available to be ordered from FMIS and will be replaced with sustainable alternatives. Exemptions to the ban will be made for patients requiring plastic items for certain departments.

The Procurement team is also working with Health Share Victoria on a list of alternatives and samples. Imprest barcodes will be replaced by Supply, and any orders placed as a non-catalogue order will be reviewed and approved only if the department ordering is exempted. At this stage, the ban does not include cups or bowls, however Northern Health will remove these items from purchasing lists to become proactive.

Greg Warman, Director, Support Services, is delighted with these changes.

“We know how harmful plastic waste is to the environment, wildlife and even people. This is a bold move to help save our planet,” he said.

Staff are also encouraged to use keep cups when purchasing take-away coffee.

If staff have any queries regarding product changes, contact TNH-SupplyServicesGroup@nh.org.au. For further information on the ban, please visit Sustainability Victoria.

Picture shows from left to right: Snezana Poposka – Manager and Mai Lolesio – Food Service Assistant, ISS Facility Services –Bundoora Centre