The Born Free Generation initiative aims to decrease the usage of plastic and gradually phase out toxic chemicals in maternity, neonatal and paediatric wards. The project specifically targets the critical first 1000 days of a child’s life, protecting vulnerable populations from exposure, i.e. mothers, newborns and children.
Building on the success of our previous project, Towards plastic-free healthcare (2019-2021 and 2021-2022), HCWH Europe has engaged in a three-year collaboration with four healthcare providers and two universities, starting September 2023.
Together, we model and test the world’s safest maternity and paediatric wards as a pilot for toxic and plastic-free healthcare. We train future and current healthcare professionals on the impacts of plastic and harmful chemicals and the ways to avoid them and inspire broader societal change in support of environmental health through a large-scale awareness-raising campaign.
By 2030, the first generation of babies in over a century in Europe will be born free of plastic pollution and toxic chemicals thanks to a new model of medical best practice that creates the safest and most sustainable maternity, neonatal and paediatric wards and embeds environmental health approaches and behaviours among healthcare professionals and parents.
This project is based on three fundamental pillars of action required to implement the necessary measures at each level.
We use circular, toxic-free products materials and promote environmental health to make maternity, neonatal and paediatric wards beacons of sustainable practice. We minimise the unnecessary utilisation of products and materials, thereby conserving valuable resources and mitigating our environmental footprint.
We promote and mainstream the eco-maternity/paediatric model across other hospital wards and healthcare providers and activate healthcare professionals to become agents for change, promoting environmental health measures within their communities.
We develop a global framework for environmentally sustainable and non-toxic maternal, neonatal and paediatric care, building upon the lessons learned from the pilot.
HCWH Europe gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Flotilla Foundation. HCWH Europe is solely responsible for the content of this project and related materials. The views expressed do not reflect the official views of the Flotilla Foundation.