Blue Cardboard Clinisafe offers a sustainable and cost-effective alternative, supporting a circular economy.
Vernacare is a leading UK manufacturer of Sharps and Clinical Waste Containers. Over 15 million containers are produced at our Blackwood facility each year. We have a long history of supporting the NHS and associated healthcare organisations worldwide with the safe disposal of healthcare waste.
As the UK Healthcare sector develops sustainability and environmental impact reduction plans through a Circular Economy, so should UK manufacturers supplying goods into this sector. Vernacare fully support the NHS’s ambitions to reduce carbon emissions and the use of single-use plastic whilst improving environmental practices and efficiencies.
As set out in the UK Government Safe Management of Healthcare Waste Memorandum1, Healthcare organisations are required to segregate Non-Hazardous Pharmaceutical Waste in Blue Containers prior to final disposal. This waste stream is not indicated for disposal of sharp items such as needles or blades but many organisations are still using rigid single use plastic containers for disposal of pharmaceutical waste. Why use plastic?
The Blue Cardboard Clinisafe Container for Pharmaceutical Waste (EWC18.01.09) offers a sustainable and cost-effective solution to plastic containers. It is estimated that c.600 tonnes of single use plastic could be saved each year if every UK Healthcare Organisation switched from plastic to Cardboard Clinisafe. A case study conducted by Weston Area Health evidenced a 75% cost reduction and 67% reduction in carbon emissions was achieved by moving to Cardboard Clinisafe2. The case study also supports the fact that the flat pack design of Cardboard Clinisafe allows more containers to be transported in load, reducing deliveries and carbon emissions associated with transportation.
A 100% reduction in single use plastic for Pharmaceutical Waste can be achieved by each NHS Trust and Healthcare Organisation that switches to Cardboard Clinisafe. The containers are also FSC approved and made from 74% recycled content, further supporting a circular economy. With all the advantages outlined above coupled with the benefit of cost savings, the question is, why use plastic?
“At Vernacare, we recognise the importance of our responsibility to the environment and continue our commitment to minimising the impact of our production activities, product solutions and carbon footprint. We fully support the NHS’s ambitions to reduce carbon emissions and as a trusted ethical partner supplying the NHS we must recognise it is our duty to play our part in supporting the efforts and ambitions in the UK.
For us, the last 18 months have been very exciting at our production site in Blackwood. Not only have we invested in machinery that utilises 75% less energy, but we have also installed solar panels over the vast roof space of the factory. The system has generated 50.5MWh of energy, saving 13000kg in CO² emissions. This equates to planting 600 trees. We also invested in LED lighting for the entire site shortly after, further reducing CO² emissions.
We are fully committed to working with all NHS bodies towards achieving the aims of a Sustainable Procurement Strategy and the reduction of single use plastic. In July this year, you will have seen our promotion of Sharpsafe products now containing 21% reprocessed plastic into the NHS. This journey is set to continue into 2021. However, we must also recognise alternative routes to reduce single use plastic.
One such area to reduce the use of plastic to zero, would be Pharma Waste. Nationally, it is estimated that c.600 tonnes of plastic is currently used in the disposal of Pharmaceutical Waste. There is no requirement for this waste to be disposed of in rigid plastic containers. Our Blue Clinisafe Cardboard solution would reduce the use of plastic used for pharma waste nationally to zero. This would not only reduce the NHS use of plastics, but it would also deliver significant cost saving benefits.”
Scott Jones, Commercial Manager UK & Ireland.
If what you’ve read has sparked your interest, we would welcome the opportunity to present Blue Cardboard Clinisafe to your organisation and discuss the opportunity to achieve cash releasing savings and reduce your single use plastic for Pharmaceutical Waste.