From Left: Dr Rob Burrell (Anaesthetist), CHEMMAT’s Assoc Prof Saeid Baroutian
On the evening of Tuesday, 20 April, we gathered across ten bars to cheer on twenty bright minds. CHEMMAT’s Assoc Prof Saeid Baroutian was one of them. Saeid gave his talk alongside Rob Burrell at the Dice & Fork in Freemans Bay to an enthusiastic audience. Rob is Anaesthetist, Chair of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists Sustainability Group.
Their talk was on “The Secret Waste of Healthcare” and we learned about new technology being developed to literally bust waste with hot water and revolutionise how we dispose of pharmaceutical waste.
Did you know that the anaesthetic gases released by just one hospital annually in New Zealand has the same carbon footprint as 500 return flights between Auckland and London?
Anaesthetic gases are just one aspect of pharmaceutical waste currently entering our ecosystems, insufficiently treated and unmonitored. This unseen waste stream contains highly toxic chemicals that must be properly treated before disposal. So far, environmentally and economically sound solutions in New Zealand are minimal. it seems ironic that life-saving medical cures come at such a high cost to the environment – until now.