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May 5, 2020

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PPE: Public urged not to dispose in recycling

The Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) has urged the public not to put Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in recycling and ensure that it is disposed of ‘appropriately’.

coronavirus face maskThe CPI says there is evidence that a number of people have been disposing of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in their household recycling.

Used PPE that is wrongly included for recycling is placing essential frontline workers at further risk during this health crisis, because those collecting, sorting and handling this material are potentially exposed to coronavirus.

PPE should not be recycled, it should be treated in the same way as domestic medical waste such as properly contained sharps and soiled hygiene products such as nappies and pads, and should be bagged separately and disposed of in general waste.

Director of Raw Materials at the Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI), Simon Weston said: “In recent days and weeks, we have received disturbing reports and images of PPE, including discarded masks and gloves in household collected recycled paper.

“Whilst CPI welcomes the continuing support of the public in recycling household material and thereby sustaining a key manufacturing sector, PPE cannot be recycled with paper and board. It is vital that such material is disposed of properly in general refuse.

“Risking the health of key workers in this way undermines the good work and sacrifice that they and the majority of the public have and continue to make to overcome COVID-19.”

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