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Revealed: NHS trusts in Norwich purchased three million disposable cups over five years

Used disposable drinking cups fill the top of a bin. Picture Ben Birchall/PA Wire.

Used disposable drinking cups fill the top of a bin. Picture Ben Birchall/PA Wire.

NHS trusts based in Norwich have purchased more than three million disposable drinking cups over the last five years.

Data obtained through Freedom of Information requests by the Press Association show that NHS trusts in the city have bought 3,169,750 disposable cups since 2013.

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, which has its headquarters at Hellesdon Hospital on Drayton High Road, bought 2,594,000 disposable cups over the period.

The Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust, which provides community health and care services and is based at the Norwich Community Hospital on Bowthorpe road, purchased 575,750 cups.

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has not yet responded to the Freedom of Information request.

Other trusts across the region were also asked to provide data for the number of cups purchased.

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust reported buying 3,255,525 cups from 2013 to 2017 but the James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has yet to respond.

Nationally the NHS in England purchased more than half a billion disposable cups over the five years period.

One London trust, Guy’s and St Thomas’, purchased almost 30 million cups over a five-year period, with 6,258,249 purchased in one year alone.

The news comes amid rising concern over the environmental impact of single-use throwaway items.

Earlier this year England’s chief medical officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies, called on the NHS - as one of the world’s largest employers - to cut its pollutant footprint.

Some trusts have already taken steps to reduce the use of single use plastics and cut down on waste.

A number of hospitals have reintroduced china cups to their wards to reduce the number of disposable cups while others have made significant pledges to reduce the use of single use plastic and paper cups.

A Government spokesman said that it is “committed to reducing its own use of single-use plastics”, but the official response did not address the figures highlighted across the NHS in England.

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