Are acupuncture needles reused or recycled? No, acupuncture needles are not reused in western countries. In western countries such as the UK, USA, Canada, Europe and Australia it is illegal to reuse any type of acupuncture needle. All acupuncture needles are one-use disposable needles. They are used once and then put into a sharps box for incineration. This prevents cross infection of blood borne virus between people. Acupuncturists, such as those who are members of the British Acupuncture Council, are required to meet certain professional standards of treatment which includes patient safety and the proper use of needles. Members of traditional acupuncture associations are held to high health standards to ensure patient health and safety during acupuncture treatment. In China, acupuncture needles are treated like surgical equipment and are autoclaved to kill off any germs and bacteria so they can be reused. The acupuncture needles in China are thicker and the handles are made out of solid metal allowing them to be autoclaved. Unfortunately at present, the needles or guide-tubes are not recyclable. Acupuncture is a healthcare system thousands of years old that originated in East Asia. In western countries it is an alternative medicine.