Waste management has been a world problem for years now. It is estimated that the world is now generating over 2.01 billion tons yearly, as stated by the World Bank.
It is estimated that one person generates 0.74 kgs of waste on average per day. It is estimated that by this municipal waste will grow up to 3.4 billion tons if we don’t change our waste management measures because our population growth will double the number in 2050 stated by the World bank. High-income countries are the main contributors to municipal waste.
They contribute to 34% of waste generated annually, equal to 683 million tonnes. It is estimated that by 2050 the waste in high-income countries will be reduced by 19%, and in low-income countries, it will increase by 40% and more stated by the World bank. Low-income countries collect 48% of the waste generated in the cities, while 26% is left in urban landfills.
In Sub-Saharan waste, they collect about 44% compared to Europe, North America, and Central Asia contains at least 90% of the waste stated by the World Bank. The medical sector is one of the sectors that generate waste that affects the environment and leads to disease outbreaks often.
What is the role of the medical sector in the waste generation?
Medical waste contributes to different types of waste. It can be land pollution, water pollution, air pollution, and climate change. The medical sector is one of the sectors that is increasing municipal waste. It is estimated that medical waste has increased from 658.08 tons in march to 16,164.74 tons in 2021 due to the pandemic. We have two types of waste.
We have avoidable waste and unavoidable waste. The avoidable waste is the one we can prevent before it happens, and unavoidable waste, we cannot avoid it occurring in a process, whether the production or user stage. The medical sector is one of the sectors that generate hazardous waste. Some of this waste can be avoided, while others find it hard to avoid.
It is estimated that the medical sector produces 15% of hazardous waste in general, and 85% is non-hazardous, states the world health organization. In the medical sector, we have types of waste that include:
This waste is composed of infectious or contaminated body fluids or blood
This waste comprises human organs, body parts, and derived tissues; this can apply to other vertebrate animals.
This waste comprises syringes, needles, lancets, and broken glass.
This waste is composed of solid, liquid, or gaseous waste material, pharmaceutical waste.
This waste comprises expired, unused, and contaminated drugs and vaccines.
This waste comprises substances with genotoxic properties, such as cytotoxic drugs used in cancer treatment.
This waste is composed of hazardous waste that contains radioactive material.
Non-hazardous or general waste
This waste is composed of materials that don’t have particular biological, chemical, radioactive, or physical hazards.
Many factors cause waste. The leading factors are overproduction, expired products, or short-expired products. Although, in the medical sector, these products can be hazardous or create other types of waste which can affect both human beings/animals and the planet in general, startups like Surplus minimize medical waste and allow it to be used.
Role of Surplus Med in waste management
Surplus med redistributes medical supplies which are unopened, unexpired, but with short expiry medicine from different sectors like wholesalers, retail and manufacture, pharmacy, or other healthcare facilities to redistribute them where those supplies can be used before time or where there is a shortage of those medical supplies places like refugee camps, medical centers.
Surplus Med promotes quality health care by allowing people access to medication in small amounts and avoiding medical waste before it occurs. Surplus plays a big role in reducing municipal waste in the environment.
It is one of the hopes that developing countries will base on while reducing the expected increase by 2050, which is estimated to be increased by 40%. Surplus is also reducing medical waste, which can be radioactive, Cytotoxic, chemical, sharps, and non-hazardous. This minimizes the disease outbreak due to medical waste.