Tackling hygiene-related waste in hospitals

There’s nothing like a pandemic to focus the attention on the here and now.  Over the past year we’ve all been living a day to day, week to week existence, never knowing what SARS-Cov-2 might throw at us next.

There’s still plenty of uncertainty about the future and how we will learn to live with or around this virus, but one thing we do know for sure is that reactive responses to the pandemic have taken a huge toll on the environment over the past year.

When coronavirus hit, the UK was taking its first tentative steps to ban single use plastics – a gesture that was quickly swept aside in a torrent of discarded plastic PPE and packaging.  Over the past year we’ve used record-breaking amounts of plastic in a bid to keep this virus at bay, ranging from bottles of disinfectant and hand sanitiser to protective wrappers on food and endless amounts of disposable gloves, masks and wipes.

Ordinary single-use plastics normally end up in landfill, which is bad enough – but in the healthcare sector the majority of single use plastic generated is PPE.  As clinical waste, these items have to be incinerated, releasing even more toxic chemicals and carbon into the atmosphere.

Reactive attitudes to the pandemic are now giving way to proactive strategies for managing it long-term, and a large part of this involves NHS trusts and individual IPC directors taking a critical look at the environmental impacts of their infection control measures for the future.

Zero waste, zero wipe

Since there’s little scope to reduce the amount of PPE used in hospitals, offsetting the use of these items by reducing waste in other areas is the next best thing – and VIRONEX can help.

Conventional hospital disinfection is done manually using wipes, sprays and cloths.  This generates a significant amount of waste.  Wipes in particular have caused a huge problem for the NHS during the course of the pandemic because they are made from plastic fibres that don’t biodegrade.  As a result, many hospitals have suffered problems with their sewage systems caused by blockages. 

VIRONEX is a zero wipe, zero waste disinfectant system that’s also refillable, so nothing ends up in the incinerator.

VIRONEX is supplied in a pre-pressurised, non-flammable canister that delivers a fine, continuous disinfectant spray mist via the applicator wand.  Easy to use and store, VIRONEX is proven to kill 99.999% of bacteria, viruses, fungi and spores with no need to wipe down, even in dirty conditions.  As a result, your VIRONEX application is totally waste-free and ultra-convenient for IPC staff, while also being highly effective in a clinical setting.

Convenient disinfection

VIRONEX is approved to six BS EN standards and as well as being a sustainable alternative to manual disinfection, it’s much more convenient too.  Staff don’t need any special training and there’s no need to evacuate cubicles before use – VIRONEX is safe on all surfaces including vinyl, metal and textiles and won’t damage sensitive electronics.  This means that the entire patient space, including equipment, can be effectively and quickly sanitized in a single step.

With an optimal 20-micron spray density, VIRONEX has been designed to deliver superior large surface coverage with minimal absorption.  The spray wand works at any angle, making it easy to disinfect awkward or hard-to-reach areas.  The spray itself dries quickly, and falls out of suspension in seconds so there’s no need to exclude personnel or patients from the space for long periods – cubicles and emergency vehicles are ready for use again in just ten minutes.

Each VIRONEX canister delivers over 1000m2 of disinfectant coverage and when the canister runs out, all you have to do is detach the hose and applicator wand using our simple, tool-free Quik Connekt system and connect a new canister for uninterrupted application.  The empty canister can then be returned to us for refilling, helping you to further reduce your environmental footprint.

For further information about how VIRONEX is supporting a more sustainable future in healthcare, contact us.