Medical supply waste is one of many human hazards having a significant impact on the overall health and quality of the environment. It’s the responsibility of medical facilities to help ensure they produce as little waste as possible that will be added into local landfills, but what is the best way to do that? Carstens is here to provide you with a list of specific supply waste to be on the lookout for, along with a selection of tips, tricks, and recommendations hospital staff and administrators can utilize to help reduce the waste their facilities produce. 

Related: Improving Workflow in Healthcare: The Ultimate Guide

5 Types of Medical Supply Waste To Look Out For

There are many medical waste types that healthcare facilities should work to reduce, and we can’t possibly include all of them in this brief article. But the following five are some of the most critical ones that people will need to keep an eye on going forward.

    • Energy Sources 

      Medical facilities make use of a wide range of energy sources but typically rely on unsustainable ones. To help protect the environment, these facilities should switch to safer, renewable energy sources to power their equipment, including wind, solar, and water power.

        • Products That Could Be Reusable

          Medical facilities should consider investing in reusable medical products rather than single-use products that will quickly be tossed away in the garbage and added to a landfill.

            • Excess Packaging

              Most products arguably come with too much excess packaging these days, but this is especially the case for medical products. While some extra packaging is necessary to ensure sterility and safety, it’s largely become excessive and negatively impacts the environment’s health.

                • Food or Cleaning Products With Mercury

                  Mercury is highly toxic to humans and the environment as a whole. Yet, it’s sadly contained in many food packaging and cleaning products utilized by medical facilities that quickly end up in the garbage.

                    • Unused Supplies 

                      Unused supplies in medical facilities are often discarded unnecessarily rather than stored for later use, adding even more unnecessary garbage being carted away to landfills.

                      Related: Trends Impacting The Design of Healthcare Environments

                      5 Acquisitions That Can Help Reduce Excess Waste

                      A wall-mounted CarePod workstation provided by Carstens


                      While these won’t completely solve the medical supply waste problem, facilities that adopt the following can help reduce their overall waste output.

                        • Folding Workstations with Storage (CarePods)

                          The top-quality, effectively designed CarePod workstations with storage provided by the experts at Carstens can give medical facilities extra storage capacity for essential products and equipment while also removing the need for large desks. This can help ensure they don’t have to discard as many unused products due to lack of space.

                            • Storage Accessories

                              Much like the CarePods noted above, practical accessory storage can help medical facilities reduce the space their equipment takes up and limit their need to discard significant amounts of unused supplies over time.

                                • Reusable Linens

                                  Hospitals and other medical facilities should consider investing in quality reusable linens to replace single-use bed coverings that have to be thrown out after being interacted with by every single patient.

                                    • LED Lights

                                      LEDs are more environmentally friendly than alternative light sources, so medical facilities should do their part to use them in place of more traditional light bulbs.

                                      Do you need a new source of quality medical supplies, PPE, and more for your clinic, hospital, or private medical practice? Contact the industry experts at Carstens today to learn about what their range of expertly designed products can do for you.

                                      5 Ways To Minimize Medical Supply Waste

                                      Aside from adopting the range of more environmentally friendly products discussed above, there is also a range of other ways medical facilities can effectively reduce the amount of medical waste they produce daily.

                                      1. Organize the Supply Room

                                        Once again, we’d like to state the importance of ensuring that medical facilities have enough space to store their products and equipment so they won’t have to discard any of it needlessly as medical waste. Taking the time to organize all supply rooms properly can help provide this needed space.

                                          2. Keep Track of Expiration Dates and Order Replacement Supplies Well in Advance

                                            Medical facility staff should keep close watch over the expiration dates of products and order supplies well in advance to ensure they don’t run out of anything while also ensuring they don’t order more than they can reasonably store and use.

                                            3. Educate Co-Workers About Best Practices For Reducing Waste

                                            Medical facility administrators should work diligently to ensure that all of their staff are sufficiently trained on the best practices for how to use products and equipment in ways that can reduce excess production of medical waste.

                                            4. Recycle Everything You Can

                                            Rather than throwing anything and everything away, medical facilities should also ensure that they recycle as much of their used products and equipment as possible to prevent excessive amounts of unnecessary waste from being added to local landfills.

                                            5. Donate Anything You Can

                                            Alongside recycling, medical facilities should also put forth the effort to donate as much of their unused equipment and medical products as possible to other facilities rather than simply tossing them in the garbage. Just because one facility can’t use everything they have in their storage rooms doesn’t mean another facility couldn’t make good use of them. Various programs accept equipment and supplies that would otherwise be thrown away.

                                            Related: Best Ways to Streamline Nursing Workflows

                                            Find Products That Can Help Eliminate or Reduce Waste!

                                            Medical supply waste is one of many forms of waste that are regularly added to overflowing landfills across the globe every day while negatively impacting the environment’s health. Medical facilities need to help ensure that they are doing their part to reduce the amount of waste they produce as much as possible to help facilitate a positive effort to protect the planet. If you’d like more information regarding the critical factors impacting the healthcare industry and how the healthcare industry is impacting the world, please consider checking out the wide range of expertly written resources and top-quality products offered by the industry professionals at Carstens today.

                                            Are you looking for a new source of superior-quality healthcare products to support your hospital, clinic, or private medical practice? Take a look at the vast selection of fantastic products provided by the industry experts at Carstens today.