As healthcare waste sortation and streaming continues to spread, it has become critically important and demanding for organisations to choose the right clinical waste bag. Two decades ago, healthcare packaging trends allowed for most companies to simply place clinical waste in the nearest bag or container – a sort of ‘out of sight, out of mind’ approach.
A more demanding industry
But there is now a large amount of legislation and guidance from government healthcare authorities and safety agencies, aimed at regulating the disposal of healthcare waste. This has come from a growing awareness of the impact of clinical waste in areas including:
- Control of infection
- The impact of clinical waste on the environment
- Duty of care for waste producers
Organisations are obliged to ensure all clinical waste they generate is processed in line with the latest guidance. This guidance applies to all producers of healthcare waste, including clinics, hospitals, care homes and local authority care providers. Non-compliance with these guidelines can lead to prosecution and heavy fines.
Choosing the right clinical waste bags
There are many factors that will influence the selection of the right waste bag for the waste you produce. To make the right decision, you must know:
- The full range of waste types being produced
- The waste streams available, with relevant transportation and disposal costs
- The chosen processing/disposal method for each stream
- The relevant colour coding/markings according to current guidelines
- Volume of waste produced
- Bag changing cycles
- Storage requirements
- Risk of leakage
- Weight and volume of waste items
- Type and size of bins and dispensers in use
- Full details of the handling chain
- Transportation requirements
- Bag storage and distribution practices
Today, there is a wider choice of clinical waste bags than ever before. Colour coding and mandatory markings are common, but there are also numerous options for sizes, gauges of polythene, sealing systems, gussets, packaging and overall presentation. There have been recent innovations, such as bags with Star Seals (anti-burst closures) and Tiger Stripe (offensive waste) bags, which have their colour markings embedded in the polythene instead of over-printed, ensuring greater durability and easy identification.
With so many complex demands to consider, the requirement that underscores all others when choosing the right healthcare waste bag is to partner with a reliable, specialist supplier. We provide the clinical waste bags UK businesses need to make the right choice every time. We have an exemplary record of innovation, and our knowledge and expertise is second to none.