Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) Europe has released today the Spanish and Portuguese versions of the publication, Sustainable food contact materials in the European healthcare sector.
This publication provides information on the health and environmental risks of commonly used food contact materials (FCMs), including plastics, paper, board, and bio-based materials. We also assess the regulatory shortcomings that enable these risks and provide recommendations for healthcare food services and policy makers to reduce them, as well as case studies from healthcare facilities that have reduced plastic in their food services.
Reducing risks in healthcare food services
FCMs play an important role in food services in healthcare. There are, however, health and environmental risks associated with certain FCMs, especially single-use items, which are becoming increasingly common.
Protecting vulnerable patients is a top priority, as they have the highest risks from exposure to plastic and toxic chemicals. In this publication, now available in Spanish and Portuguese, we demonstrate how exposure to plastic from FCMs can be reduced for vulnerable populations.
Featuring four case studies from hospitals in Spain, France, and the UK, we offer examples of reducing plastic use in healthcare food services and preventing harm from hazardous FCMs. We encourage healthcare food services to adopt FCMs that are safe for both human health and the environment.
Though current legislation does not provide sufficient protection and a planned review of EU packaging rules is delayed, the healthcare sector can already take action and play a key role in protecting patients and workers by phasing out unsafe products and wasteful practices currently permitted by weak legislation or loopholes.