Dental practices encouraged to go green as UK aims to reduce emissions by 78% by 2035

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Dental practices across the UK are being encouraged to go green after the government set an ambitious target to reduce carbon emissions by 78% by 2035.

There are several ways dental teams can lower emissions and embrace more eco-friendly ways of working. Many practices are offering virtual consultations and calls to replace appointments for minor ailments, which may help to reduce travel but as practices increase capacity as lockdown measures ease, travel is likely to increase. While Zoom calls have been a godsend in recent months, many patients will need to attend in-person appointments.

The good news is that there are many other ways teams can cut carbon emissions once patients start to return and clinics get busier. Recycling is an excellent place to start. Teams can buy recyclable products, recycle used supplies and sign up to initiatives that encourage patients to recycle toothbrushes and tubes of toothpaste instead of disposing of them. Another idea is to offer patients the opportunity to buy eco-friendly products, such as bamboo toothbrushes, as a plastic-free alternative to traditional brushes.

Practices can also aim to reduce plastic consumption and waste by providing a water fountain to fill reusable flasks and bottles and by keeping a close eye on order books and invoices to avoid over-ordering. Reducing or eliminating the use of amalgam fillings can also be beneficial.

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