Cool Crutches and Walking Sticks launches the UK’s first walking aid recycling scheme to combat healthcare and mobility equipment inaccessibility around the world, as UK searches for ‘recycling scheme’ spike 92% in 12 months.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 3.5 billion people, which is almost half the world’s population, lack access to the health services they need, with almost 100 million people being pushed to extreme poverty each year. Another report by WHO and UNICEF reveals almost one billion children and adults with disabilities and older persons in need of assistive products are denied access.
Highlighting the disparity in mobility product access compared to that of low and middle-income countries, the NHS spend £14 million on wasted, unused and unwanted mobility aids each year in the UK, with patients being urged to return unwanted mobility equipment to stop unnecessary waste.
The scheme ties into UK consumer interest trends, with searches for ‘recycling scheme’ increasing by 92% in 12 months. However, these figures counteract the latest annual figures from DEFRA, which reveals just 44% of plastic waste generated across the UK was recycled in 2021.
Partnering with PhysioNet, a UK based charity dedicated to redistributing unwanted mobility aids, Cool Crutches & Sticks has launched the UK’s first scheme to tackle the mobility waste issue here in the UK by refurbishing and redistributing mobility aids.
How does it work?
When purchasing a new walking stick or crutches from Cool Crutches & Walking Sticks, the company will send the necessary packaging for you to pack up and send your old walking aid, which will then be hand delivered to the team of volunteers at PhysioNet.
As the first scheme of its kind, the walking sticks are refurbished and undergo a series of safety checks by a qualified team of health professionals at PhysioNet to ensure they’re refurbished safely. Training manuals are then collated for the recipients to understand exactly how they should be used.
Amelia Peckham, CEO and Co-Founder of Cool Crutches & Walking Sticks comments:
“We wanted to introduce a scheme that not only changes the lives of people living with a disability, but also tackle the environmental issues caused by the disposal or discarding of these products. There are millions of people globally who unfortunately don’t have access to mobility aids, and experience difficulties in obtaining preventative care and appropriate treatments. This scheme looks to change that and we have goals to help the 1.3 billion people living with disabilities globally.”
David Kaye, Chairman of PhysioNet adds: We are delighted to be working with Amelia and Cool Crutches & Sticks. She shares our philosophy of matching redundant mobility equipment with people with disabilities in developing countries. Each month we send 40 containers of medical hardware and mobility items worldwide and we are very happy to be including Cool Crutches recycled items.