Clinical waste from Scottish hospitals is to be sent 250 miles away to the Welsh town of Wrexham – despite Nicola Sturgeon’s promise of a “climate emergency”.
Following the closure of a Lanarkshire company which previously dealt with the medical waste, ministers have struck a new deal with disposal firm Tradebe. And it has now emerged, under that arrangement, significant levels of waste will now be transferred to the firm’s plant in north Wales.
Answering a question from Scottish Conservative Central Scotland MSP Graham Simpson, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman confirmed that all “yellow bag” waste – which contains sharps materials like syringes – will go to Wrexham permanently.
And “orange bag” waste – comprising items contaminated with bodily fluids – will also be sent to Wales until a new arrangement in Bellshill is up-and-running.
Yet earlier this month, the First Minister said her new “climate emergency” would begin to dictate Scottish Government policy.
Already, plans to reduce air departure taxes have been scrapped, and the SNP is also expected to rescind its support of a third runway for Heathrow Airport – a move that would jeopardise the creation of thousands of Scottish jobs.
Scottish Conservative Central Scotland MSP Graham Simpson said: “No sooner had Nicola Sturgeon announced a climate emergency than her government confirms plans to send clinical waste 250 miles away.
“That has an obvious negative impact on the environment, yet her SNP administration presses ahead with it anyway. It exposes the ‘climate emergency’ as a gimmick – it was clearly something thought up on the hoof which she will now live to regret.
“People will see this decision and wonder why Scotland under the SNP isn’t capable of disposing of its own medical waste.
“Instead of making unconvincing statements about saving the planet, the nationalists would be better finding ways to safely dispose of all our clinical waste here, in a way that helps the economy and protects the environment.”