REGENT Court Vets in Penzance has been hailed for its efforts to help save the planet.
The practice has radically reduced the amount of single use plastic in the surgery, switching many products for more environmentally friendly alternatives.
The veterinary team at the practice in Lower Queens Street has also found additional ways of recycling and even organised beach cleans to remove litter, plastic and other waste from Cornwall’s coastline.
Their work has earned them praise from environment charity, Surfers Against Sewage, who have named Regent Court Vets as community allies and presented them with their Plastic Free award.
Some of the changes at the practice include switching from individually plastic wrapped washing tablets to washing powder, swapping plastic bags for brown carrier bags and switching from food in plastic pouches to tinned food. Vets and nurses now wear fabric scrub caps, which can be washed and sterilised, instead of disposable ones when operating in theatre.
While some plastic veterinary products can’t be avoided, they swapped buster collars and syringes to products with less plastic or recycled material.
Head veterinary nurse Megan Eastwood-Wright was behind Regent Court Vets’ green campaign and hopes raising awareness of the huge plastic pollution problem will help to inspire other UK businesses to become more environmentally friendly.
Megan said: “We’re incredibly proud of the positive changes we have made and, although we can’t make the practice completely plastic-free, we have drastically reduced our amount of plastic waste.
“More importantly I feel, is the work we have done within the community and with the wider veterinary profession to raise awareness of environmental concerns the world is facing. We’re a caring, responsible practice and we wanted to do this because we care about the environment and animals on the planet.
“As a profession, veterinary practices often see the consequences of pollution with sick or injured wildlife that is brought in and we see damage to marine animals on the coastline.”
Megan believes many businesses, including other veterinary practices, can make positive changes to help the environment without it impacting on their budget.
She said: “It’s best to purchase as little plastic as possible, but unfortunately there are some products for which there is simply no alternative and you can’t make changes. But the amount of products we were able to change or recycle surprised us.
“We were surprised to find that many of the alternatives are cheaper than you might think, sometimes even less that we were already paying.
“There is a huge amount of waste generated by veterinary practices and that made us eager to make a difference. It was a huge team effort as the whole practice had to be on board and you don’t have to spend a lot of money and make sacrifices to make a difference.”
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