Take a second and think about all the elements that go into the efficient administration and operation of a hospital. Go on. I am waiting. Did eco-friendly disposables come into your mind? Probably not. However, at St. Vincent's Medical Center in Bridgeport, Connecticut, hospital management and staff made a big leap in reducing our collective carbon footprint and eliminating the health risks associated with using plastic disposables.
Hospitals typically go through hundreds of thousands of cups, plates, bowls and other disposable products every year. St. Vincent's reported a staggering 1,194,000 cups were used and tossed each year. This waste adds up -- particularly when the items in question are made of polystyrene foam, more commonly known as Styrofoam.
In an effort to reduce public health problems and help create and maintain a greener world, hospitals countrywide are phasing out products made of plastic foam, which resists biodegradation and is not always accepted by recycling programs.