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18 Jan 2022

WATCH: Medical devices company teams up with Limerick City Tidy Towns to plant 'urban forest'

A LARGE medical devices company based in Limerick is looking to increase sustainability on site by planting a tiny forest.

American knee and hip replacement manufacturer Stryker Orthopaedics, which has a plant at Raheen Industrial Estate, is cultivating a new woodland of 1,500 saplings.

The project is being directed by Limerick City Tidy Towns group, which has committed to planting small forests in urban areas.

Tidy Towns member Ann O’ Malley, who was directing operations on the day, said: “We heard that Stryker were interested in doing a corporate responsibility reach out."

She explained that several Stryker employees, along with Transition Year students from Crescent College on Dooradoyle Road, were preparing the site for root tree slips which will “enrich the land” in March of next year.

“We have laid down two layers of cardboard, three to four inches of mulch and after it will be watered to bed it down,” she said of the process behind the day’s work adjacent to the Stryker plant.

She added that the new forest will consist of all native Irish trees such as oak, scots pine and elders. After a year, lower understory species will be planted, like bluebells and berries.

Pic by: Stryker worker Eamonn Walshe.

The key to this tiny forest, is the density of the trees, forcing each one to grow upwards and absorb five times more carbon than normal standalone trees.

“You have great carbon absorption, biodiversity as well as birds and bees attracted.”

Richard McKeogh, Stryker Limerick Plant Manager,  stressed the shift in the psyche of workers, where ideas are already flowing for future sustainability projects on site.

He said: "As a leading supplier in healthcare, we understand that there is a significant connection between the health of our planet and human health.  

"This initiative is an opportunity to show our commitment, not just to doing business here but to growing a business that is part of the communities in which we operate."

 

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