Earlier this year, I kicked off a chat about the issues our industry experiences around safe sharps collection and disposal. Well, the Sustainable Salons Innovations Team has just launched our new Sharps Collection Program, which we think could smooth out these wrinkles for good!
I know it can be a bit of a prickly topic, so I’m sure you have a bunch of questions about the ‘why’ and ‘how’ and ‘what’ of this new process. The last thing any of us needs is yet another band-aid solution in the sustainability space, which is why I’m excited to share our journey of discovery and creation with you in these FAQs.
WHY DID SUSTAINABLE SALONS TACKLE THIS PROBLEM?
Handling and disposing of sharps is a serious process, and it’s been on our R&D radar for some time now. We knew that the programs and processes on offer have been largely inaccessible for small businesses, with little to no collection services available (and those that do exist often come at a prohibitive price point). Instead, the expectation is on the business to return full containers to a drop-off point or facility directly, making it a difficult process to manage especially during peak periods.
Sustainable Salons as an organisation is on a mission to make sustainability a reality for everyone. This means finding innovative ways to protect the planet, look after our communities and help the economy thrive with successful businesses exactly like those we see in the beauty, dermal and cosmetics industry. And with the popularity of injectables rising, we knew this problem couldn’t be ignored under this mission.
WHY CAN’T WE JUST RECYCLE THEM LIKE OTHER SALON WASTE ITEMS WE COLLECT?
It’s true – we do have existing recycling pathways for many waste items that come from beauty and dermal salons, however sharps can’t be recycled due to biological contamination. According to Australian and New Zealand standards, they must be incinerated at specialist facilities.
As part of our research, we found there was very little information and education on offer about the effects of incorrectly disposing of sharps through the regular domestic waste systems.
In fact, the seriousness of this is often brushed aside, which puts people in harm’s way. Also, when sharps end up in landfill, they take hundreds of years to break down, not to mention the biohazard hasn’t been eliminated before dumping them in the Earth.
WHAT MAKES THE SUSTAINABLE SALONS SHARPS COLLECTION PROGRAM DIFFERENT?
Our Sharps Collection Program is the safest, most convenient and cost-effective program in the beauty and dermal industry for responsibly disposing of waste materials from injectables.
Safe: Each regulation Sharps Container comes with a YES/NO instruction label to help staff safely and easily dispose of waste on the go, and a simple screw-top lid to tightly seal the container ready for collection.
Convenient: No more in-person returns! Sustainable Salons members simply order the specialised, compliant sharps containers online and have them delivered direct to their salon door, with full containers easily returned via the fortnightly collection or on-demand pick-up service as part of their Sustainable Salons membership.
Cost-effective: The Sharps Collection Program is integrated into the Sustainable Salons membership and containers can be ordered using Member Points (where eligible) or at a competitively low price. Plus, as a member, you get to kick council recycling costs to the kerb completely because we collect and recycle up to 95% of your salon bin and help feed those in need at the same time.
HOW DID WE CREATE IT?
Headed by our Project Assistant, Alex Kung, the team’s job was to deep-dive into the many and varied regulations across Australia and New Zealand, and develop relationships with disposal facilities that align with our sustainability values. Next, the team set about creating a safe and cost-effective collection process by sourcing the best equipment for salon staff and depot handlers, and then they built the necessary education to provide at every step.
HOW CAN YOU MAKE THE SMART SHARPS SWITCH?
Our goal at all times is to make sustainability simple. Visit our Sharps page here and you’ll find everything you need there to help you get started.
By choosing the Sustainable Salons Sharps Collection Program, you’ll be injecting a whole lot of good into your business and the planet.
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