New Zealand care homes embrace plastic-free initiative

09 August 2018 . New Zealand

A Queenstown care home is doing its bit for the environment by reducing its plastic use and paving the way in an initiative that has now been made available across Bupa New Zealand facilities.
Plastic free initiative Bupa New Zealand

Bupa Lake Wakatipu Care Home started using compostable and plant-based plastic bags in an effort to reduce their environmental footprint, during Plastic-Free July. Already using reusable shopping bags for her groceries and produce, Care Home Manager Juliet Towers wanted to make a sustainable difference at Bupa Lake Wakatipu, something her team has been advocating for.

After watching someone selling compostable plastic bags on News Zealand’s news and talk show, the AM Show, one morning it clicked for Juliet.

“We use so many plastic bags and we were just thinking, ‘what can we do about it’,” she said.

“My team is passionate about this, they see what plastic they are using, and they’ve talked about it and want to do more.

“It is not about being green. It’s about doing the right thing.”

Soon after, she was arranging to have an option for compostable plastic bags available for her team at Bupa Lake Wakatipu - an initiative so well received that the option is now available across Bupa in New Zealand. This includes 49 care homes, 33 retirement villages, and seven rehabilitation centres.

“We need to show we do care and not just for our residents. We want to demonstrate we’ve got everybody’s future in mind, not just residents, not just staff, but everyone we come into contact with,” Juliet said.

“We live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world and there is still plastic lying around.”

“This is what we are doing to show we are committed to sustainability.”

Jenny Dickinson, Procurement Category Manager, who approved the option of compostable plastic bags across Bupa in New Zealand, says making sustainable choices like this is a no-brainer.

“Being able to support our people with sustainable choices they make, and helping bring sustainable initiatives to life, is something we strive to do at Bupa. We want our people to be equipped with the tools to create a better future and healthier planet for everyone,” she said.