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NHS Sustainable Development Unit: Sustainability review of reusable sharps containers


Lead Organisation

Sustainability West Midlands Project Manager: Anna Bright Overview The SDU asked for applications from interested parties to identify and quantify the environmental, financial and social benefits to the health sector and society, of currently available or near to market healthcare products. Following the tendering exercise SWM were commissioned by the SDU to provide a sustainability review of reusable sharps containers from by Sharpsmart, using University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust (UHCW) as a case study. The containers have been widely used by the Trust for over two years and as such performance data is available. SWM worked with Sharpsmart and University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire to provide an updated life cycle analysis, to qualitatively and quantitatively assess the impacts on NHS staff, and to determine the economic impact of the reusable sharps containers.


Our analysis demonstrated that using the reusable sharps containers:
  • Should reduce CO2e by around 90% over a ten year period when compared to single use containers
  • Have resulted in less sharps injuries to staff and a greater sense of confidence in the bins
  • Have provided a small cost saving, but potential costs of litigation and treatment associated with sharps injuries have also been reduced

Download the full case study published by the SDU

For further information on the project or to work with us in one of a variety of ways, please contact the SWM team at enquiries@swm.org.uk.

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