We recently asked the Diabetic South Africans community what they do with their needles… Take a look and see what they said.
Research shows that South Africans mostly don’t know what to do with their insulin pen needles after they’ve used them – 88% of the people in this study threw them in the dustbin and there’s a need for easily available sharps disposal units. So we thought we should ask BD for some expert guidance on safe disposal.
How should South Africans dispose of needles?
Used needles are considered medical waste, specifically sharps waste. It’s important that needles are not simply discarded into the dustbin with normal household waste.
Once you’ve used a needle, you should place it in a sealed, puncture-proof, clearly marked container. When this container is full, it can be returned to the pharmacy where you bought them so it can be emptied. It can also be taken to a clinic or hospital with a sharps disposal facility. The pharmacy will then dispose of the needles in a safe manner, to reduce the risk of needlestick injuries.
Where should South Africans dispose needles?
The needles can be disposed in a sharps container, or any sealed, puncture-proof container that is clearly marked.
Why can’t you just throw them away in the dustbin?
Incorrect disposal can lead to needlestick injuries in unsuspecting people who handle waste such as garbage removers, garbage pickers and anyone else handling domestic waste.
Needles that are simply thrown away in a dustbin could potentially end up being disposed of in municipal landfill sites, which could lead to the contamination of groundwater.
Did you know?
More information about good injection technique
This is part of a series on injection technique offered by BD.
- Are you making this mistake when injecting?
- Do you rotate your injection sites?
- Why it’s important to change your needles
- How do you choose the right length needles for insulin injections?
- How to inject insulin: a video
This article was brought to you with unconditional scientific support by BD.
Disclaimer: The medical information on this website is not advice and should not be treated as such. You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any questions about your medication, please consult your doctor.