Source: Deccan Chronicle
Biomedical waste management has received recent attention in the context of Indian hospitals and healthcare centers. The country has taken an eco-friendly approach towards planning and the appropriate disposal of their medical waste.
In fact, the sustainable management of biomedical waste is the responsibility of the entire medical and healthcare community. Most of this waste is produced during the diagnosis, treatment, and surgeries of patients.
And the hospitals plan to monitor its production and disposal to the best of their potential.
This article discusses the concept and the practice of biomedical waste management in India. It outlines an analytical design and approach to ecologically regulate the dynamics of this waste management system.
Scroll down to know more.
Biomedical Waste Generation in India
On average, the country generates around 0.33 million tons of annual waste. This includes:
Solid and infectious waste (such as linens and bandages) accounts for 30-35%
Plastic waste accounts for 7-10%
Disposal syringes waste accounts to 0.3-0.5%
Glass waste accounts for 3-5%
Other general waste accounts for 40-45%
However, most of this waste occurs in mixed ratios. Most of the Indian hospital facilities prefer to discard it via their Municipal Corporation’s services.
Concept of 3 R’s in Biomedical Waste Management
The waste management system is premised on the 3 R principle - Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.
Reduce: It refers to the minimization of biomedical waste production.
Reuse: The healthcare facilities must endeavor to sterilize and reuse products as much as possible
Recycle: It is the usage of previously used products but in a different and an upgraded form
Hospital facilities must follow this triple R waste management principle and sustainably monitor the generation and ejection of waste.
Healthcare facilities should minimize the generation of biomedical waste through the following suggestions:
Opt for source reduction programs
Training the medical staff and season them towards less wasteful clinical practices
Procure support from the management team for biomedical waste processing.
Set realistic and achievable goals
Consider the quantities of waste production and its characteristics such as the accumulative properties of waste, its toxicity, and environmental persistence, etc
Review the waste management generation data and cost dynamics
Advantages of Waste Minimization
Biomedical waste minimization has the following benefits:
It reduces the expenditure of waste disposal
It accelerates public health as well as the image of the healthcare facility
It curtails the toxic impact of waste products on the environment
It enhances the safety of the workers and the medical staff
Techniques for Waste Minimization
Here are some pertinent techniques for engendering waste minimization:
Product substitution with enhanced technological modifications in the new product
Change in the input material of products for a better and advanced monitoring process
Improved segregation of products with the use of blue (for dry garbage and degradable waste), green (for recyclable waste), and red (for recyclable and non-degradable waste) dustbins
Appropriate processing for the recovery of resource products
Other Waste Management Techniques in Healthcare Facilities
Here are a few potentially dynamic methods of reducing waste generation:
Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP)
Hospital facilities are recommended to opt for eco-friendly products whose fabrication has been clinically assessed
These products have been evidenced to cause less damage to the environment as compared to other commercial products
Also known as ‘green products,’ it comprises efficient recyclable materials for subsequent use
Life Cycle Approach
Medical setups need to consider the environmental impacts of raw material acquisition, product generation, and its final disposal
It is often used by governmental medical authorities and institutions.
Use of ‘green labeling’ is one of the prominent parts of the Life Cycle Approach
Packaging and Green Purchasing
Go for products which require minimum packaging
Ask the vendors and shipping companies to take back the previous packages for next use and purchase service
Connect with group purchasing organizations for procuring specified products with reduced packaging features. ZEPNURhealth’s Group Purchasing approach can help buyers purchase the equipment at cost-effective prices
Work with vendors which promote and follow the ‘green packaging and purchasing system’ with their customers
This concerns the adequate management of supply, storage and distribution system of medical products
The goal of this approach is to reduce the total inventory cost by operational optimizations
Overall, it assists in reducing wasted inventory from expiry or over-ordering of supplies
Other Source Reduction Practices
Physical cleaning (using steam) instead of chemical cleaning of medical products.
Using all left-over material to reduce wastage of medical products
Centralized purchasing of harmful and synthetic chemicals and their proper storage and utility
Purchasing products which have a long expiration period
Purchase of recyclable plastics such as polyethylene, polypropylene, and polyethylene terephthalate
Safe reuse of medical materials
Examples of single-use versus reusable materials
Disposable aprons and gowns
Personal care wipes
Single-use batteries and cardboard
Medical use syringes
Washable cloth gowns
Washable glass and surgical appliances
Reusable plastic containers
Altogether, a hospital facility can effectively manage its biomedical waste through the aforementioned approaches. Ultimately, each healthcare facility must consider sustainable waste production and disposal procedures for their set up.
ZEPNURhealth practices a sustainable and eco-friendly approach to the waste management system in India. You can procure different medical equipment and surgical appliances on our website https://zepnurhealth.com/.
Log in to our website for more information and details on our products and services. We deliver medical equipment across India. Connect with us for affordable quotes over the deliverables.