Sharps Containers - Correct Packaging of Used Medical Sharps


Plastic Sharp Container is a container that is filled w […]

Plastic Sharp Container is a container that is filled with used medical needles (and other sharp medical instruments, such as an IV catheter).

Sharps container have wide applications, such as needles for disposable items including syringes and infusion sets; Various blades, scalp needles, blood exchange transfusion set, ampoule, small glass and other sharps.

The most common sharps containers (red plastic in the US, yellow plastic elsewhere) were first developed in 1979 when Frontier Plastics Ltd of South Wales in the UK recognized the need for a purpose-designed container for the safe disposal of clinical sharps. The original Sharpsafe container was first marketed in 1980. The addition of Sharpsafe quickly expanded the realm of safe disposals within nontraditional areas, such as tattoo parlours and piercing shops. Shortly after this change a Canadian company, GICMD, quickly brought on their eco-friendly sharps disposal container, which was compact and allowed an easy disposal of the hazardous materials with any collection service. This started a new trend in the industry allowing effective removal of waste.

To help reduce the risk of injury, follow these following steps to get medical sharps ready for safe disposal.

Clip the needle points with needle clippers, or recap or re-sheathe discarded sharps to help prevent needle sticks. Recapping needles is prohibited in healthcare facilities because medical workers might stick themselves with contaminated needles, but individuals who administer their own medications are not at risk from their own needles.

Place the sharps in rigid puncture-resistant containers with secure lids or caps. Acceptable containers include commercially available sharps containers or thick-walled plastic detergent or bleach bottles with screw caps. Unacceptable containers include coffee cans (the lids are too easily punctured), plastic milk jugs, plastic bags, aluminum cans and soda bottles.

NOTE: DO NOT add bleach to the sharps container. Bleach may not completely disinfect needles, and it could spill and injure you or waste handlers.

Visibly label the sharps container with the words "biohazard," "infectious waste" or "sharps," or with the bio-hazard emblem. If you have put sharps in a recyclable container, label it "Do not recycle."

When the sharps container is full, sealed and labeled, store it out of reach of children and dispose of it properly at a sharps collection station or using another method described in the correct disposal tab.