More than 10 million disposable cups bought by Hartlepool's NHS Trust
More than 10 million disposable cups were bought by the NHS in Hartlepool and North Tees over the last five years, new figures show.
North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust purchased 10,605,228 disposable drinking cups between 2013-14 and 2017-18.
Data obtained through Freedom of Information requests by the Press Association show NHS trusts in England have purchased more than 600 million disposable cups since 2013.
There are rising concerns about the environmental impact of single-use throwaway items.
Greenpeace UK said the national figure demonstrates “just how out of control our relationship with single-use plastic has become”.
Based on the latest population estimates, the number equates to 11 disposable cups for every person living in England.
A total of 223 NHS acute, mental health and community provider trusts were asked to supply information on the number of disposable drinking cups they had purchased in each year for the last five years.
Of those contacted, 196 responded, but six were omitted from the data due to discrepancies within their responses.
Louise Edge, senior oceans campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said: “We all know we’re using far too much throwaway plastic, but these huge figures demonstrate just how out of control our relationship with single-use plastic has become.
“In the last five years the health service has used half a billion disposable cups.
“They can’t all be captured and recycled, so it’s time for the government to step in and help suppliers find viable solutions.”