British smart MedTech company NeedleSmart is at the forefront of helping the NHS radically reduce CO2 emissions in its clinical waste disposal and save more than £120 million in Government Plastic Tax.

As of 1st April, and as part of the Government’s recycling policies, all plastic packaging must contain 30% recycled material or be subject to a levy of £200 per tonne. The tax is aimed at encouraging the use of more sustainable plastic packaging, increasing the use of recycled plastic and helping to reduce plastic waste.  More broadly, the PPT plays a crucial role in the larger NHS net zero strategy to become the world’s first carbon net zero national health system by 2045.

NeedleSmart has designed and developed a range of products, including the NeedleSmart Pro (NS PRO) a world-first in safe needle destruction and disposal. NS PRO destroys a contaminated hypodermic needle in a sealed chamber in just six seconds. The device heats the needles inserted into the chamber to 1,300 degrees celsius, which will kill potential harmful pathogens, viruses and bacteria adhering to the needle. Within seconds, the needle is compressed into a tiny cold ball and released from the NS PRO device as a safe sphere of metal at the tip of the syringe.

NeedleSmart Pro Device with destroyed syringe (Image Credit Needlesmart)

NeedleSmart Pro Device with a destroyed syringe

This not only safely destroys the needles, converting them into safe clinical waste and allowing for recycling, but hugely decreases the amount and level of clinical waste disposal, along with the huge carbon emissions associated with disposing of that clinical waste and its incineration.

Previously, the entire needle would have had to be disposed into a plastic sharps box, which carried a limit on how many intact needles could be disposed of. Now the clinical waste can be split into two parts, with the molten metal ball part of the clinical waste recycled as safe waste and the plastics recycled into the system.

NeedleSmart is engaged in a nationwide pilot together with NHS Supply Chain, that when completed could offer a direct opportunity to switch from single-use plastic sharps bins to a 96% recycled cardboard alternative, offering a carbon emissions reduction of up to 95%. With the implementation of the plastic packaging tax (PPT). NS PRO and its clinical waste box present a real reduction opportunity in this tax levy to the NHS.

NeedleSmart CEO, Cliff Kirby, said: “By adopting the NS PRO device, the NHS will enjoy a whole host of efficiencies in cost-savings and reduction in carbon emissions, in addition to crucial safety aspects. Using the technology means we can reduce the carbon emissions that the NHS produces by 95%. Using the NS PRO to safely dispose of the needles and put these into our biogenic cardboard disposal boxes has major savings. The use of the NS PRO offers substantial savings to the NHS and the environment.”


NeedleSmart has recently achieved FDA approval as a Class II medical device, making it the first UK company to achieve FDA 510(k) approval (Class II for Sharps Needle Destruction Device (NDD)) and allowing the MedTech disruptor to expand into the US market and other global territories.

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