NHS introduces reusable sharp containers with Grundon

The NHS Trust has introduced a reusable sharps container service in partnership with Grundon Waste Management. 

George Cooke from Inpress Precision with Grundon's Andy Stratton and Becky Lillywhite

Developed in collaboration with Inpress Precision, a manufacturer in the medical and healthcare sector, the container service uses Sharpak Zero reusable containers. According to Grundon, these containers save an average of 87% of the carbon used over their lifetime, thereby preventing millions of single-use containers from being disposed of each year. 

Andy Stratton, Grundon’s commercial manager – clinical, said: “By 2026, trusts are tasked with achieving a 50% reduction in carbon emissions from waste management, a figure that rises to 80% by 2028-2032. They also need to reduce the average net cost of clinical waste management by 15% per tonne of waste by 2030, and this is where we can help,” said Stratton. 

“To achieve these carbon and financial savings, bold decisions about adopting new technology and new ways of operating are necessary. Sharpak Zero reusable sharps containers are proven to reduce carbon emissions and, crucially for busy nursing staff, do not require any changes to existing disposal routes, making the implementation easy to manage.” 


The Sharpak Zero containers, approved to UN standards, are collected in the same manner as single-use containers. However, upon arrival at Grundon’s facilities, they are emptied using specialist equipment. The contents are weighed before being sent for high-temperature incineration. The empty containers are then sanitised and inspected before being returned to Inpress Precision for quality checking and redistribution. 

Each Sharpak Zero container is fitted with an identifying barcode to track its usage. After ten uses, the container is granulated for reprocessing into new containers. After ten cycles of ten uses, the plastic is granulated again and used in other plastic products, ensuring the material is never wasted, only borrowed. 

According to Grundon, a recent trial at Hammersmith Hospital, part of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, saw Sharpak Zero containers installed in two ICU units due to the high volume of sharps used. The company reported that the Trust saved 1.26 tonnes of CO2e in eight weeks. 


Mr Stratton added: “We were extremely pleased with the trial results and believe Grundon’s reusable sharps container service has the potential to generate real carbon savings for NHS Trusts. 

“The benefits are three-fold. Primarily, we are saving carbon emissions by no longer needlessly incinerating millions of single-use sharps containers each year. Secondly, weighing just the contents of the bins gives NHS trusts a true carbon reduction figure, excluding the weight of the bin. Lastly, cleaning and reusing the containers means no plastic is wasted, dramatically reducing the amount of virgin plastic required to produce new bins each time.” 

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