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Position Statement: Safe disposal of sharps used by people with diabetes

Many people with diabetes need to use sharps, such as insulin syringes, fingertip lancing devices, insulin pump infusion sets and Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) and flash sensors to treat and manage their condition. 

These sharps need to be disposed of safely to minimise the risk of accidental injury or the spreading of infectious diseases.

To encourage and enable responsible behaviour, sharps disposal should be as easy as possible and take into account the preferences of people with diabetes.

Every person with diabetes who uses sharps should have access to:

  • Sharps containers that are appropriate to their individual needs and are available free of charge
  • A free sharps collection service from their home or agreed alternative location, provided by their local authority or another appropriate body
  • Alternative means of disposing of sharps locally which are free and convenient and take account of individual circumstances
  • Accurate and easy to find information about local collection/disposal arrangements for sharps – this should be available on every local authority website and via the ‘request clinical waste collection’ page on the website.

Diabetes UK have reviewed legislation and publicly available information on local authorities’ sharps policies, as well as engaging with the Local Government Association and people with diabetes, in order to produce this position statement.

For more information please see our full position statement (PDF, 328KB)

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