April marks Earth Month, including Earth Day on April 22.
This year’s Earth Day’s theme continues to build on last year’s campaign, ‘Invest in Our Planet’, which focuses on engaging governments, institutions, businesses, and citizens to do their part. At Stericycle, we believe in doing our part to help protect the environment. We deliver essential services that help protect the public from harmful waste and help our customers in the healthcare industry make progress towards their sustainability goals, including reductions in carbon missions and reduction in single-use plastics.
Hospitals, long term care facilities, dentists, clinics, labs and other Irish organisations generate thousands of tonnes of healthcare risk waste annually while providing essential care, wellbeing and beauty services. The environmental Protection Agency in Ireland states that the amount of hazardous health care risk waste increased between 2020 and 2021. Through improper waste disposal and incorrect segregation of healthcare risk waste, healthcare organisations can inadvertently cause harm to surrounding land areas, waterways and communities through improper waste disposal. They can also potentially increase the volume of waste heading to landfills if they do not have proper waste segregation practices aimed at increasing the recycling and reuse of materials.
Earth Day is not just one day at Stericycle. All year Stericycle offers our customers services and solutions that drives innovations and help protect the environment, people and public health. Below are a few of our environmental stewardship and sustainability-related global accomplishments from 2022:
- Treated 680,000 tonnes of medical waste, helping to protect the public from potentially infectious material.
- Shredded and recycled 454,000 tonnes of paper—helping safeguard our customers’ confidential information.
- Helped our customers divert 46,000 tonnes of plastics from landfills through use of our reusable sharps and pharmaceutical containers rather than single-use containers.
- Incinerated 17,000 tonnes of pharmaceutical waste prior to disposal, helping to keep active pharmaceutical ingredients out of waterways.
- In 2022, Shred-it securely collected approximately 454,000 tonnes of sorted office paper for recycling.
To achieve the HSE's public sector obligations under Ireland's National Waste Policy Waste Action Plan for a circular economy 2020-2025, the HSE has appointed four Regional Sustainability Managers. The HSE is committed to achieving net zero emissions no later than 2050, delivering health care which is environmentally and socially sustainable.
We’re here to help
Our network of sites help reduce road miles that waste travels and each of our bio systems re-usable sharps containers prevents 600 single-use containers from being disposed after one use. Additionally, as containers are reused, bulky packaging waste from the purchase of single-use containers is eliminated.
Visit our Corporate Responsibility Overview to learn more about our commitment to safeguarding our planet, everyday.