Why Sanitary Bins are Necessary for Your Business
16th April 2019
Sanitary bins and sanitary products have gained a lot of media attention in the last few years, from period poverty to environmental concerns. Yet despite being a legal requirement for all public places and businesses in the UK, it is still far too common for these facilities to be either inadequate or simply non-existent in public washrooms.
While the focus of many business owners often falls on other facilities, sanitary bins can make or break a client or customer’s impression of your business and your brand. Whether they choose to visit the washroom in the first few minutes of visiting your business, or as they’re leaving, it is vital that their experience with your washroom facilities reflects the high standards of your other services.
Hygiene and cleanliness thanks to sanitary bins
A lack of cleanliness is one of the main reasons so many of us choose to avoid public toilets in the first place. How many of us are guilty of creating a DIY toilet seat cover out of paper, or using our elbow instead of our hands to open the cubicle door?
Even if you are not immediately put off by the prospect of using a public toilet, they’re still not the most pleasant places to visit. Especially in large and busy buildings, these facilities can see hundreds of visitors a day, have erratic cleaning schedules, and lack adequate waste disposal systems. For those concerned with cleanliness and hygiene, it’s bad enough thinking about the dirt you can’t see, without seeing discarded toilet paper and other rubbish on the bathroom floor.
When there are no sanitary bins installed (or these bins are too small/not emptied regularly enough), a health risk is posed to both visitors and cleaners alike. Sanitary products that are spilling out of overfilled sanitary bins or left on the bathroom floor can create a buildup of bacteria that makes for an unpleasant washroom experience, as well as exposing visitors to harmful diseases. Exposure to bloodborne pathogens (such as Hepatitis B and HIV) and an increased risk of vermin infestation are just some of the more serious repercussions of an unclean public washroom.
A lack of adequate sanitary disposal sends a message that bathroom cleanliness and hygiene is not an important issue for your business, putting your reputation at risk. By ensuring that you have enough sanitary bins installed for every cubicle in your washroom – and that they are regularly changed and cleaned by a trusted supplier – you can rest assured that your washroom facilities will be cleaner and safer, with less risk of dissuading or displeasing customers.
Lack of sanitary bins can lead to pluming problems
Unfortunately, the majority of women are far more likely to try and flush their tampons and pads rather than leave them on bathroom floors if there is no disposal bin available. While this may alleviate any hygiene and cleanliness issues, flushing sanitary products comes with a whole host of other negative implications for your business.
Just a few short years ago, it was thought that around half the women in the UK flushed their tampons down the toilet on a regular basis. While there has been an increase in awareness surrounding these issues in recent years, this is still a significant problem for many businesses and public facilities.
While it may be understandable that women would prefer to flush their products rather than carry them around to find a suitable disposal unit, this can result in major plumbing problems for your facilities. Most drains are not designed to carry much more than toilet paper, and flushing sanitary products on a regular basis can mean costly blockages and possible flooding of your washrooms.
By installing sanitary bins in your public toilets, you can avoid the risk of incurring expensive call-outs to deal with heavy blockages, and ensure that your facilities are in the best working order for your staff and your customers.
Sanitary bins have an environmental role
Frequent call-outs to your plumber are not the only negative impact of a lack of sanitary bins (or of flushing sanitary products down the toilet). As the world grows more conscious of the way it uses (and disposes of) plastic, the inappropriate disposal of sanitary products has been highlighted as a major burden on the environment.
The single-use sanitary industry produces 200,000 tonnes of plastic waste every year in the UK alone. This waste has a significant negative impact on our beaches, our wildlife and our sewer systems, the latter of which is straining under the load of plastic waste. A combination of sanitary products, grease and other matter has formed to create ‘fatbergs’, which have become a frequent and bizarre sight in the news.
As companies and businesses move towards a more environmentally conscious future, whether it be through banning single-use plastic straws or switching to energy-efficient light bulbs, waste disposal is only growing in importance. It’s already thought that running an environmentally friendly business can help attract customers and potential employees, as well as help to retain staff.
Even if you are not using solar energy to power your lights just yet, ensuring that you meet the required environmental regulations for sanitary waste disposal (as well as other waste) is a good way to prevent unnecessary environmental damage, and help to maintain your positive reputation.
Social discourse surrounding sanitary bins
Along with being environmentally conscious, sanitary bins can also enhance your reputation by showing that you are attentive to your staff and visitors’ needs. Women’s health and menstrual issues have become hot social topics in recent years, especially with the rise in awareness of serious problems such as period poverty, which affects thousands of women all over the country.
Whether it be a lack of empathy to menstrual symptoms in the workplace, or the controversy of blue dye being used in tampon commercials rather than red, it is clear that menstrual taboos are still prominent in this country. For businesses, sanitary waste disposal is just another way in which these taboos are realised.
Male-dominated industries have a particular reputation for neglecting the needs of their female staff, which can impact their ability to work productively and happily, and deter talented women from competing for jobs. Women in the construction industry recently made a public appeal for ‘period dignity’, as unhygienic washrooms and a lack of sanitary bins were such a dominant issue in the workplace.
Installing sanitary bins on your premises means that your female customers and staff members will never feel anxious about using your bathroom. At a time when women’s issues concerning menstrual health are very much in the public eye, your company reputation can benefit from making sure that all your customers and staff members are provided for.
Whatever industry you work in, people are always quick to judge your bathroom facilities, whether it be through word of mouth or even on social media. With a naming and shaming only a tweet away, it’s more vital than ever that your washroom facilities make a good impression.
Providing sanitary waste disposal for your business shouldn’t just be a legal duty. Businesses everywhere should seize the opportunity to ensure that they are maintaining a good level of hygiene in their facilities, as well as being conscious of the social issues happening around them.