Sustainable Development Unit: Sustainability review of reusable sharps containers

Lead Organisation

Sustainability West Midlands

Project Manager: Anna Bright


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 or help, please contact the SWM team on 0121 237 5890 or