Product Update Vernacare Clinical Waste Containers Multiple Products (ICN 1543)

Important Customer Notice Update

Ref: 2022/1543 ICN Number: 1543


  • Vernacare have started to introduce their ‘5th Generation’ range of plastic sharps and clinical waste containers from April 2022.  This range incorporates a minimum 30% recycled plastic content.  The container bases across the range will change to be grey in colour (with yellow labelling).
  • NHS Supply Chain are offering this new Vernacare range to customers.


  • Customers will be able to order the current range of Vernacare ‘4th Generation’ products (with yellow plastic bases) via NHS Supply Chain while our remaining stocks sell through.  These products are available while stocks last and will continue to demand-managed.
  • Stock of the new products are expected to be available to order from w/c 16 May 2022. These products will also be demand-managed initially while stock levels are built up and to avoid unnecessary risks of stock shortages.
  • For a period of time there will be supply of the old and new codes, and therefore mixed coloured bases (yellow and grey versions, depending on which NPC is supplied).
  • The only change to the new Vernacare products is the incorporation of recycled plastic content and the related colouration change in the bases.  In all other respects the design and performance of the products remains the same between the old and new ranges.
  • Pricing on the new codes will remain the same as that of the old codes during May 2022.  However, this is expected to increase from June 2022 across the Vernacare plastic and cardboard-based product range.  Further details to follow.
  • Customers on a Vernacare NPM will be allocated the same percentage discount automatically when ordering the new Vernacare products.

Next Steps

  • The list of old and the equivalent new Vernacare product codes are detailing on the product listing (see our Downloads ▼ section).
  • Customers should continue to place orders for the old codes or start to order the new codes from w/c 16 May 2022 where these start to become available.
  • Further details to follow in May outlining any changes to Vernacare prices applying from June 2022.
  • A further product listing will be provided showing product alternatives between all suppliers once we have further information
  • See our Useful Links section to see a further ICN outlining the changes Mauser are making to their range to also incorporate recycled plastic material.


  • From the end of March 2022, Vernacare will not be taking orders from any customers for their current ‘4th Generation’ range of plastic containers.


  • Customers will be able to order the current range of Vernacare products via NHS Supply Chain during April while our remaining stocks sell through.
  • As a result, these products will need to be demand managed. This is to protect stockholding and aims to ensure that trusts continue to have access to the consumables they need to provide patient care and to avoid unnecessary risks of stock shortages.

Next Steps

  • Please  continue to order as per your normal demand patterns.
  • Further details and updates to this ICN will follow.
  • If you have any further questions, please contact your local NHS Supply Chain Customer Relationship Manager or Customer Services Advisor.


  • Multiple suppliers on the Clinical Waste Containers framework have been reviewing the impact of the Government Plastic Packaging Tax and potential sustainability benefits from using alternative materials.
  • They are seeking to make changes to their existing products.
  • There are circa 143 product codes affected.
  • Please note we are unable to provide the list of products currently, but once we have further information the ICN will be updated, and the product listing will be provided.
  • The Government Plastic Packaging Tax is due to come into effect from 1 April 2022.
  • Single-use plastic sharps and clinical waste container products supplied through our Clinical Waste Container Framework are within scope of the Plastic Packaging Tax.
  • The tax becomes payable by suppliers where any component of their products (e.g., container base or lid, in respect of waste containers) contain less than 30% recycled/non-virgin plastic material.
  • Suppliers therefore do not have to pay the tax where they can incorporate at least 30% recycled/non-virgin plastic material in the components that make up their products.
  • Our manufacturers of sharps/clinical waste containers – Mauser (Daniels brand); Vernacare (Sharpsafe) and Inpress (Sharpak) – have been reviewing the impact of the tax changes alongside wider ambitions to make their products more environmentally friendly.


  • The lids used on waste containers come in multiple colours and indicate the type of waste that should be disposed in the container – as per the ‘HTM 07-01 Management and Disposal of Waste’ guidance.  These lids need to remain – in large part – made from virgin plastic as the introduction of other material can alter the colour of the lid.
  • The bases of waste containers are typically yellow in colour.  The addition of a minimum 30% recycled plastic material can result in an alteration to this colour.  We are aware that our manufacturers are seeking to incorporate increasing amounts of recycled material into their product range, where possible, from April 2022 and beyond.  The incorporation of recycled material is expected to alter the current yellow colour of the bases (to a lesser or greater degree) – a high content of recycled material will typically change the base from a yellow to a grey colour.
  • The introduction of more recycled material into plastic waste containers can be seen as a positive development from a sustainability perspective – reducing the use of virgin plastic in these products and supporting your trust sustainability targets.

Next Steps:

  • The affected existing products could be replaced by new recycled content containers from April 2022.
  • We are continuing to speak with our suppliers to understand the changes they are intending to make to their ranges from April 2022.  Further details and updates to this ICN will follow in the coming weeks outlining how this will translate into the products customers purchase.
  • If you have any further questions, please contact your local NHS Supply Chain Customer Relationship Manager or Customer Services Advisor.

Downloads ▼

  • 1543 Vernacare Product Listing with Alternatives 13 May 2022

    An Excel file detailing the affected product codes for ICN 1543.
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