Dental practice network commits to using less plastic

plastic waste in dentistry
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In a move that is good for mouths and the environment, Bupa Dental Care will be moving away from using plastics across a range of common dental care products such as cups, tray covers, syringe sleeves, headrest covers, barrier film and X-ray sensor sleeves. 

With dentists utilising an average of 20 grams of disposable plastic per patient, the shift towards biodegradable options across Bupa Dental Care’s network of 186 Australian practices will take hundreds of kilograms of waste out of landfill each year. 

Plastic waste can take more than 400 years to decompose while manufacturing plastic products releases toxins which are dangerous for the environment and people’s health. 

“We use thousands of dental care products every year that cannot biodegrade or be recycled, so taking action to find a sustainable solution was a real priority for us,” Bupa Dental Care director Ros Blakley said.

“Moving to biodegradable products might seem like a small change, but at scale it can have a significant and positive impact on the environment.”

Last year, Bupa Dental Care rolled out the Everyday Dental Recycling Program, which enabled patients and local communities to drop off everyday oral health items such as empty toothpaste tubes, toothbrushes, floss containers and mouthwash bottles and give them a new life after being melted and remoulded into new recycled products.

“By piloting new sustainable initiatives, we’re empowering our people and our patients to think more deeply about their environmental impact. 

“Environmental conservation is a long and complicated journey, so we look forward to developing additional initiatives in the future as we continually review how we deliver sustainable best-practice dental care,” Blakley said. 

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