Written by Amy Piser
21 Apr 2022

The Sustainable Benefits of Reusable Containers in Healthcare

Daniels Health Canada has long been at the forefront of providing cost-effective and sustainable waste management and disposal options for healthcare and industrial facilities. Reusable containers are only one way to reduce medical waste that ends up in landfills. Why does that matter in Canada and elsewhere? Let us count the ways. 


1 / Sustainable benefits and climate initiatives

2 / Daniels Health supports the climate 

3 / Sharpsmart encourages sustainability 

4 / Successful waste reduction and environmental support 

5 / Commitment matters  

Sustainable benefits and climate initiatives 

Canada’s climate initiatives are designed to preserve the sanctity of our environment, including wildlife, the landscape, and of course, human safety. Among the most important aspects of the Sharpsmart reusable container systems designed by Daniels Health is the reduction of greenhouse gases with their use.  

Reusable biomedical waste containers effectively minimise energy that is required to manufacture, transport, treat, and dispose of waste containers in a variety of healthcare scenarios. 

Over years of use in the United States, Canada, and around the globe, the sustainable impact of our reusable containers has stacked up. Here are just a few published examples:  

  • 40 NHS Trust sites in the UK utilizing reusable containers reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 3267.4 tonnes of CO2e and eliminated 900.8 tonnes of plastic incineration 
  • An 84% reduction of CO2 emissions in a single 850-bed hospital in Chicago, greater than the target set by US federal hospitals
  • Reduction of sharps injuries during disposal by 57% 
  • A 19% reduction in usage (and costs) of sharps containers requiring disposal and disposal costs

Additionally, the use of Sharpsmart reusable sharps containers reduces the number of containers that must be transported to landfills annually. As a reusable container, Sharpsmarts are certified for 500 uses (filled to the fill line, emptied, cleaned, and reused). 

Utilisation of reusable containers, sharps and otherwise, not only reduces the potential for pollution and reduces greenhouse gas emissions, but is also a sustainable and cost-saving strategy for healthcare and other industrial facilities. 

Daniels Health supports the climate 

In 2020, the Canadian government introduced a strengthened climate plan (a Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy), with a goal to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050, a commitment that was introduced in Parliament in late 2020 with the Canadian Net-Zero Admissions Accountability Act. 

In order to support businesses in the carbonisation efforts, the Canadian government is helping companies meet demands for lower- and zero-carbon goods and services through regulations, investments, and other measures

Reducing carbon emissions not only has encouraged innovation, but reduction in waste in medical and healthcare scenarios. While costs to treat healthcare waste have steadily increased, Canada’s goals for zero-net-carbon potentially have the capability of keeping such costs lower – with proper waste segregation processes and through utilisation of reusable containers, with the added benefit of reduced carbon pollution. 

The Canadian government gives territories and provinces throughout the country flexibility in implementing systems that align with the minimum stringency standards of the federal government, while also considering a variety of circumstances that align with each province and territory.  

Sharpsmart encourages sustainability 

Use of Sharpsmart reusable containers and containment systems has a huge and positive environmental impact. Reusability is a mainstay of sustainable methodologies for a positive environmental effect. Reusable sharps and other medical waste containers provide a significant reduction to waste volumes, as well as amount of waste that ends up in landfills. 

Utilisation of the Sharpsmart system can significantly reduce any facility’s environmental impact on a monthly and yearly basis. Developing sustainable methodologies such as reusability, especially in regard to medical disposal containers for all waste streams, effectively reduces overall waste volumes as well as costs associated with them, and at the same time reduces the volume of waste cluttering landfills or that requires incineration or other destruction methods.  

Successful waste reduction and environmental support 

Throughout the globe, Daniels Health systems and products have significantly reduced the CO2 burden of our partners in healthcare facilities, diverting millions of tonnes of cardboard and plastic from landfills. Daniels' sharps containers have a 50-year life cycle, which alone has the potential to eliminate the manufacture of tens of thousands of disposable products. The carbon footprint of a Sharpsmart reusable container is roughly 76% less than that of a disposable sharps container. 

In addition to helping preserve the environment and slow down climate change, reusable Sharpsmart containers and products have been shown to reduce needlestick injuries, reduce waste volumes and infection risks, and improve labor and disposal costs. 

Commitment matters 

Daniels Health has long been committed to staying at the forefront in regard to innovation and development of practices and products in the medical waste industry that reduce the negative impact of such waste on the environment. 

Sustainability is at the core of reusable containers. Daniels is committed to environmental protection and carbon emission reductions that will have a positive and beneficial effect on our climate in the future. 





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Amy Piser

Amy Piser

Clinical Waste Educator

With 26 years experience working in healthcare, Amy has implemented sustainability initiatives for over 100 hospitals across the United States and brings unique practice and compliance expertise to healthcare waste management.