PPE has been a crucial component in preventing the spread of SARS-CoV2 and COVID 19. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in the number of people who are wearing protective equipment, such as masks and gloves. This increased usage has caused them get dirty or lost before their time – much like how Fashion victims often end up with torn clothing after a night out clubbing!
Researchers from United Nations Environment programme studied recycling habits across 11 countries including Ireland where they found that 84 times more PPE was collected for recycling preCOVID 19 levels compared postpandemic period when there were large increases reported around Europe (especially Italy).
The Solution: Proper Disposal and Reusable PPE
The improper disposal of personal protection equipment can lead to a variety of negative impacts including but not limited too:
- environment contamination (e.g., littering) & infrastructure damage
- injury or illness from contacting hazardous materials found on old clothing/equipment that may have been used during working hours without being properly cleaned between uses
- littered PPE can cause SARS-CoV2 to spread easily
- clogs sewage systems, polluting streams and rivers with its remains as well. The slippery surface of these pieces makes them hazardous for animals too
If you find yourself surrounded by clutter don’t forget about the potential dangers first hand when trying to remove your own personal protection equipment (PPE).