Championing Change –
The Evolution of Guidance and Standards in the Strive Towards Sustainability

The impact of Climate Change is an urgent global issue that continues to impact our future in a variety of ways. According to the World Health Organisation, Climate Change “threatens the essential ingredients of good health – clean air, safe drinking water, nutritious food supply, and safe shelter – and has the potential to undermine decades of progress in good health.” Through our partnerships with industry experts, customers, and end users, Vernacare are driving sustainable product development and introducing eco-conscious infection prevention solutions into a variety of healthcare markets.

Alex Steele

Vernacare Blackwood Quality Manager

One area where we are making a significant impact is through our newly developed 5th generation Sharpsafe® containers, which are now made using our low carbon footprint recycled material.

With all our product ranges, it’s extremely important that regulatory and quality standards, as well as industry guidance, are regularly reviewed and updated as new requirements are identified. Manufacturing methods and production materials are constantly evolving, which allows Vernacare to strive towards a more sustainable future, whilst ensuring high product quality is at the forefront of our improvements. The evolution of standards and guidance is paramount to allow continued growth and product innovation with sustainability at its core.

Introducing a World’s First

Here at Vernacare Blackwood, we recognise this need for change. Our specialist Sharpsafe® team have engaged with key opinion leaders and advisory committees to update guidance allowing us to bring a safeand sustainable clinical waste management solution to the market.

In April 2022, Sharpsafe® are launching the world’s first full range of sustainable single-use sharps containers, which are manufactured from our carbon footprint recycled materials. This evolution would not have been possible without the ongoing dedication from the Sharpsafe® team and its partners to champion change within the clinical waste management market.

The 5th Generation Sharpsafe®

Following extensive research and material trials, a suitable recycled material was identified for use in our sharps containers. Due to the colour properties of this recycled material, it was discovered that the introduction of a grey base was the most suitable and most consistent colour to manufacture our 5th generation of Sharpsafe® containers. We recognise that this is a departure from the traditional yellow base, however, the critical colour-coded lids will remain the appropriate colour in line with local waste segregation guidance.

“CIWM supports manufacturers of sharps and clinical waste containers in their drive to reduce single-use plastics through the increasing use of recycled material. CIWM is aware this may require a transition from yellow to grey (for example) without compromising the standard and quality of the product and believe this will help accelerate the journey to net zero carbon and mitigate the impact of the forthcoming Plastic Packaging Tax.”

The Chartered Institute for Waste Management

Eco-Conscious Manufacturing

With quality at the heart of our innovative eco-conscious manufacturing practices, Vernacare are committed to providing the highest standards and safety in our products, ensuring value and confidence to all of our customers.

Our dedicated Vernacare Blackwood quality team have worked hard to implement important changes and drive forward our clinical waste management sustainability projects.

Throughout the development of our 5th generation Sharpsafe® containers, the team have ensured regulatory compliance through continual engagement with notified bodies.

As a result, we are proud to announce that our 5th generation Sharpsafe® containers are:

  • Certified to ISO23907-1:2019
  • BSI Kitemarked
  • Certified to UN2391

“The introduction of Vernacare’s 5th generation, sustainable, single-use sharps containers is not only a huge step forward in supporting the journey to Carbon Net Zero, but it is also testament to the hard work, dedication, and expertise of the Quality team here at Vernacare’s Blackwood site. We have been part of this project from its conception, ensuring that as we transition to the 5th generation of our sharps containers, we continue to meet and exceed the stringent internal and external quality standards for these products.”

Alex Steele Vernacare Blackwood Quality Manager

We are incredibly proud of our step forward on the road to Net Zero in the UK market and we will continue to work with our international customers to offer this sustainable solution for sharps and clinical waste management worldwide.