Last week (16-22 October) was “Recycle Week” in the UK.
This week aims to inspire people to get involved in recycling. You may not think that reducing waste is important for fertility but it really is. As we produce more waste, this pollutes the environment.
If we don't recycle plastic, it breaks down into microplastics which are under 5 mm in diameter. These enter our air and waterways and eventually end up in the food chain, where we unknowingly eat or drink them! In the last 50 years, male sperm parameters have plummeted and there is growing speculation that this could be linked to pollutants.
Many pollutants upset our hormone systems and fertility. By having a “throw-away society” we have used single-use plastic products leading to microplastic pollution. Astonishingly, microplastics have now been identified in the follicular fluid of women (where the egg develop). Such pollutants will inevitably affect fertility.
How are X&Y Fertility helping?
Our team at X&Y Fertility are eco-volunteers, who work with Leicestershire County Council to reduce waste and help the environment. In Recycle Week, we visited our local recycling facility. We hope the below report on our trip might inspire you to recycle (or recycle more)!
Our trip to the CasePak Recycling Facility in Leicester
After the team donned PPE (hard-hats, goggles, boots and high-viz jackets), we entered the facility. Two things hit us: the size (it is huge) and the noise (from all the machines).
The reception area was like an airport hangar. Here, recycle trucks drove in to deposit the contents from curbside collections. As trucks emptied their loads, so smaller trucks moved in to push the waste into huge piles. We were surrounded by mountains of waste ready to be recycled!
The operation was slick, with a fast turnaround for the fleets of recycle trucks. As new waste mountains arose in one area, older mountains were crumbled as forklifts took the waste for initial sorting.
Following a visual quality check, uncontaminated dry waste was transferred to a rollercoaster of industrial conveyor belts. Initial segregation was both manual and automated, based on grading the quality, size and type of material, separating paper, plastic and glass.
The remaining smaller items were rolled onto further conveyors where artificial intelligence and lasers helped to assess and separate objects based on shape and substance.
Finally, the segregated waste was sent to respective compaction and baling machines. After this, the bales were moved to a bunker for further quality inspection. If they passed, the bales were then stored ready to be dispatched for the next stage of the recycling process.
See this video for more detail:
What struck us was the attention to quality and detail throughout the recycling process. Raw material was delivered, meticulously processed and a product was made.
At X&Y Fertility, terms such as quality, detail, manual and automated processing, and AI are used every day. Yet who would have thought a lateral, yet parallel approach takes place in areas of industry such as recycling?
Our Sustainability Pledge
As part of our sustainability policy, we are dedicated to recycle as much waste as we can. Eco-credentials are also checked for any companies and suppliers we deal with. One of our aims is to reduce packaging. For example, if you order any fertility supplements or men's cooling underwear from us, don't be surprised if the packaging is made from recycled paper!
We Are A "Business For Good"
In 2022, we partnered with B1G1. This followed our decision that for all clinic activities, we will give back to the planet to support an impact-driven project. This is at no extra cost to patients; rather it further aligns us to our values of supporting sustainability.
"We have been gifted with a world of wonder and delight – a mysterious and magnificent ocean coupled with beautifully diverse flora and fauna – a world that we didn't just inherit from our ancestors; it's a world that we borrowed from our children. And there’s so, so much we can do today to protect and preserve our precious planet for our future generations." (B1G1)
By supporting the UN Sustainability Goals with everything we do, we hope we can make a difference to our environment, whilst also making a difference for our patients.
Our Green Commitment
At the end of the day, our aim at X&Y Fertility is to provide you with a healthy baby to live on a healthy planet.
We hope that by reading this post, you might be inspired to sorting of your own recyclables. There are lots of opportunities to do so, and doesn’t it make sense to contribute towards a sustainable future for the generations that we are helping to create?
If you would like to find out more about our green philosophy and how we work with B1G1, please contact the clinic.