BRITAIN’S beloved NHS is going green – with electric ambulances and scrubs made from recycled bottles.
Scotland is unveiling the world-first eco-friendly vehicles as the world meets for COP26 in Glasgow, as it vows to save the planet – as well as lives.
They can dash through streets just as quickly as gas-guzzling ones, and can go for up to 300 miles without needing to be recharged.
Trusts will roll out their fully zero-emission fleets as part of ministers’ goals to make the swap by 2030.
NHS Chief Sustainability Officer, Dr Nick Watts, said last night: “The NHS is doing its bit as the first health system to commit to being net zero and now road-testing the world’s first zero emission ambulance capable of getting to patients within minutes and lasting hundreds of miles without refuelling.
“Even during the busiest period in NHS history, our incredible staff have been coming up with ways to reduce our carbon footprint, saving lives, and saving enough emissions to fuel 1.7 million flights from London to New York over the last year.”
While discarded plastic bottles caught by Spanish fishermen are being turned into protective scrubs across several English trusts.
They collect thousands of bits of discarded plastic from the Mediterranean or Atlantic Oceans for Upcycle Plastic, which transforms them into goods ranging from scrubs, gowns and masks and umbrellas and car interiors.
The goods have got a lower carbon footprint than products coming half-way around the world from China or Pakistan.
And the firm has plans to open up a new factory in the UK to boost production and slash the air miles even further.
Regular scrubs are incredibly energy intensive to make, using up extensive amounts of water and oil.
The new eco-friendly alternatives can be washed at high temperatures and reused at least 100 times.
Wexham Park Hospital (Slough), the Royal Free Hospital (Hampstead) and St Thomas’ Hospital (Waterloo) are trying out the kit, which includes medical scrubs, gowns and aprons, and have plans to supply them to other hospitals if it goes well.
Founder Linda Ball told The Sun: “If we only supplied the whole of the NHS, we could turn back climate change.”
Adrian Wilson, a Consultant Orthopaedic & Specialist Knee Surgeon told The Sun: “We create a lot of waste as doctors, particularly in the hospitals where we work, and it’s fantastic now that we can play our part in reducing our carbon footprint.”