The catering team at Tameside Hospital have won an NHS Sustainability Award for the progress they have made in stopping the use of single use plastics and contributing to a greener and healthier environment.
The catering team took the decision to be greener last year and started by replacing the single use plastics in the Hartshead Restaurant. All takeaway boxes and cutlery were replaced with recyclable alternatives.
As well as dramatically reducing single use plastic use, the team has also thought of the environment when it comes to replacing kitchen equipment.
All new equipment has to meet criteria that ensuring it is more energy efficient than the previous item had been. As more items get replaced, the kitchen will become more energy efficient and reduce the carbon output.
The team also think of their carbon footprint when choosing their suppliers and try and buy locally wherever they can.
Caroline Hargreaves, Facilities Catering Manager, explains, “The disposable equipment and meat suppliers are from the Ashton area, which is great for our carbon footprint and for investing in the local area. Even the national suppliers we use are actively looking into how they can be more sustainable.
“I’m so proud of the team! It is great to be recognised for our hard work sourcing local and healthy food for our staff and patients, while reducing our environmental impact in our community.”
The team also came highly commended in the staff engagement category. This category celebrates engaging with staff and changing behaviours through increased awareness.
There is a wider project at the Trust to be green, the project Save Planet Tameside and Glossop was launched last year. The Trust hosted a bottle swap where a reusable and biodegradable bottle was exchanged for used single use plastic bottles. The Estates Team are hoping to use the bottles collected during the bottle swap to make a greenhouse.
Paul Featherstone, the Trust’s Director of Estates and Facilities has put together the detailed plan on how to best manage sustainable development within the Trust.
He says: “The plan sets out how we are contributing towards a greener and healthier environment.
“I’m so pleased that this work has been highlighted by the NHS Sustainability Awards, as we have been looking at radical and pioneering ways to offset our carbon footprint and make the Trust more sustainable for the future.”