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My Passions and Plastic

Updated: Apr 17, 2019

Two of my great passions use a lot of plastic. Acupuncture and dogs!

@higherhealthacupuncture wrote a great post about acupuncture and recycling, which highlighted issues with local councils. Go check it out.

Firstly, I use a lot of plastic bags for clearing up dog poo. I've been using the poo bags from Lilys Kitchen which are compostable. But is this enough? I will investigate other options...I am wondering if paper options are better?

Secondly, in acupuncture the needles we use have a plastic guide tube. We get one guide tube, for one needle. That's A LOT of plastic being thrown away.

Looking at this quarters ACU (the British Acupuncture Council's journal) the emphasis was on Ecology. As Peter Deadman wrote in his opening editorial, "the roots of our medicine spring from observation (and love) of the natural world".

There appears to be a rallying cry from members that we make changes, but of course we have the flip side, which is quality and safety for our patients.

A couple of things they mentioned that could be changed (and not all related to plastic, but on wider ecological issues):

~ needle suppliers to introduce boxes of 100 needles with 10 guide tubes (rather than 1 guide tube to 1 needle)

~ non-guide tube needling (I wonder if acupuncture schools will start introducing this method, so I will talk to my tutors)

~ use of stainless steel needles (I honestly have no idea if this affects the quality of the treatment)?

~ gamma sterilisation (as opposed to ethylene oxide)

~ no real guidance yet on the volume of waste. Suggested investigate local options. Couch roll, cotton wool and guide tubes are classed as offensive waste.

@plasticfreeletchworth @bambooturtle do you have any advice on where I can start looking in to these things?

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