The issue of how to safely dispose of personal protective equipment in rubbish bags has become a hot topic because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The world has started to use both disposable and reusable face coverings, face shields, and gloves at a faster rate, meaning we have to take a look at how we dispose of rubbish and recycle products.
How to Get Rid of Face Coverings
If choosing a paper, disposable face covering, you may be tempted to place your used mask in a recycling bin, but this is not a good idea because of the problems of spreading the virus. Instead of looking for the chance to recycle a used face covering, you should place them in your usual black bag to make sure you do not run the risk of infecting another person with COVID-19.
Face coverings should always be removed carefully without touching your mouth or the inside of your cloth or paper mask. Once you have removed your mask, you should always wash your hands to make sure you are not moving any virus germs from your mask to your hands and body. If you have been told to self-isolate because of a possible infection, you should double-bag your rubbish and used face coverings and store them for 72 hours before putting them in your general rubbish bin.
The amount of rubbish being created by PPE is becoming a global problem with plastic gloves, face coverings, and other plastic materials reported to be making their way to recycling facilities. This is putting workers at these locations at risk of infection from the virus as the pandemic continues. If you are running a business, you should have extra bins placed around your office, factory, or retail space to make sure your workers and customers can dispose of their masks, wipes, cloths, and gloves safely.
The Environmental Impact
The amount of rubbish being created all over the world is climbing as we all take more care to use PPE to stay safe from the virus. From London to Turkey, and Hong Kong reports state PPE is being discarded in the streets of major cities as people look to protect themselves from COVID-19. To try and make an impact, experts recommend switching to cloth face coverings that can be washed and reused on multiple occasions. Staying safe from COVID-19 should not mean the land and oceans of our planet are being harmed by dangerous practices for disposing of PPE.