How to safely dispose of your PPE face masks

Face masks have been a part of our day-to-day lives for a few months now, but how do we dispose of them safely? As hygiene experts, we want to share how you can ensure your PPE face masks and gloves are disposed of in a safe and environmentally friendly way.

Don’t put masks in the recycling
There have been lots of reports of masks being incorrectly disposed of. This includes councils reporting they’ve been seen in recycling bags and bins; despite the fact they are not recyclable. PPE face masks and disposable gloves should never be placed in a recycling bin as this would put recycling collection and depot workers at risk of infection.

Don’t harm the environment
Incorrect disposal of face masks can also have a negative effect on wildlife. There have been RSPCA reports of birds getting tangled in the straps of incorrectly disposed of mask. Therefore, to encourage responsible disposal, it’s important that businesses provide employees, visitors, and customers, with an easy and safe disposal method for face masks.

Do use a dedicated bin
A dedicated bin is the easiest way to manage PPE disposal. phs offer a fully serviced 65L PPE bin that is perfect for masks, gloves, and related PPE disposal. The phs PPE bin is pedal operated, to remove the need for hand contact and reduce the risk of cross infection. The bin is provided with a tailored service agreement, which includes on-site cleaning of the bin exterior. It’s important that dedicated PPE bins have limited touch points and are regularly cleaned to help stop the spread of bacteria and infection.

Do find out where your waste is going  
If you’re using a trusted supplier to manage your PPE waste, they should make you aware of where your waste is going. As an environmentally conscious service provider, waste collected in the phs PPE bin in England and Wales will be diverted away from landfill and sent to an energy from waste (EFW) plant, where it is then turned into energy that can power facilities, schools, public buildings and homes.

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