“Flip your clinical waste stream”

So, an interesting product development, ‘The Flip’, from Wybone had recently caught my eye.

Intended to extend the value of waste sack holders, these flexible and wipe-able magnetic covers sit neatly onto the upper and outer surface of a sack holder lid to identify the intended waste stream, be it intended for orange or yellow sacks, or tiger stripe etc.

This is a clever idea that can save money and supports improvement in source segregation, though it would be better still if it was over-printed with some indication, as text or pictograms, of the wastes intended for disposal within.

The Infection Prevention practitioner inside me questions issues of cleaning and I rather expect a rim of grime and dried cleaning product accumulating around the edges.

Next, the thorny question of colour coding must go still further. Will the colour code displayed externally match that of the sack within, and while we are about it what about those nice all-plastic sack holders to which these magnetic indicators could attach? Retrofitting options seem to be limited.

The all-plastic sack holder was presented as a significant advance, in materials technology, for ease of cleaning, resilience to moisture and cleaning chemicals etc, and for the silent close lids that are preferable to a clunky metal lid creaking at 3am when the rest of the ward is trying to sleep.

So, I have a suggestion!

Why not manufacture sack holders using a transparent material, or at least with a transparent front panel?

In that way, ANY waste sack could be used and its colour code will be clear to all.

The lid would still be available for some indicator of intended waste types, and for this the Wybone magnetic covers could be of value if they were to carry instructions for segregation and safe disposal, especially if easy yet secure fixing to a plastic lid can be achieved and hygiene concerns properly addressed.

Some may worry about the aesthetics of viewing the bag. But the content will be no more visible that for all of those sack holders which do not have any sides at all, or just a metal grill enclosure.

A transparent waste sack holder seems like a great idea. It will ensure compliance with the NHS Fire Code by providing a complete enclosure, a clear indication of colour code and intended contents, effective hygiene options, environmentally sensitive manufacture, and silent close features.

You can then flip your waste any which way you need – a winner all round?

Remember, you read about it here first. If you make a fortune from this, please do remember to tell the Clinical Waste Discussion Forum.





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