The “disposable mindset” is one of the biggest challenges facing healthcare laundry operations today, according to John Scherberger, president of the Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council (HLAC), the non-profit body that inspects and accredits laundries worldwide that process reusable textiles for hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities.

This mindset is "the erroneous belief" among healthcare facility managers – particularly those who have influence over purchasing decisions – that disposable products are preferable to reusable healthcare textile products (HCTs), said Scherberger. He made his comments in a recent interview with Healthcare Facilities Management (HFM) magazine (18 August 2016).

Scherberger said that even though disposables initially may seem less expensive, in a typical life cycle they can be just the opposite. "This, despite the fact that the laundering of HCTs is one of the largest costs for a hospital. Disposables are costlier than reusables because of frequency of purchase, disposal as a biohazardous waste, the harm they cause the environment, and the many dangers their use can pose in the health care environment, including the spread of superbugs."