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INDUSTRY


NEWS Send your news stories to: editor@skiphiremagazine.co.uk


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DEFRA issues guidance on PPE waste disposal


ON 13 July, the Government issued new guidance for disposing of personal or business waste, including face coverings and personal protective equipment (PPE), throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.


The guidance does not apply to healthcare setting such as hospitals, care homes or to primary care providers, and applies to England only.


The new guidance states that, when you are just socially distancing, facemasks should be washed and reused to avoid creating excess waste, and that PPE such as gloves do not need to be double- bagged or stored before being thrown away. Instead you should do the following:


•


dispose of them in your ‘black bag’ waste bin at home or at work, or a litter bin if you’re outside;


• do not put them in a recycling bin as they cannot be recycled through conventional recycling facilities; and


• take them home with you if there is no litter bin - do not drop them as litter.


6


However, the guidance clarifies that if you are actively self-isolating, then you should indeed store your PPE for 72 hours and then double bag it when you put it into your ‘black bag’ waste bin.


Remove PPE carefully, and avoid touching the inside of your face covering. After you remove your PPE or face covering, wash your hands or use hand sanitiser.


Businesses For businesses returning to work after lockdown, the guidance recommends referring to the guidance specifically for working safely during coronavirus.


In regards to disposing of PPE, busines owners should:


•


provide extra bins for your staff and customers to throw away their waste face coverings and PPE used for social distancing, and any other additional waste, such as takeaway packaging and disposable tableware;


• make sure that staff and customers do not put face coverings and PPE in a recycling bin as they cannot


be recycled through conventional recycling facilities; and


• make sure bins are emptied often so they do not overflow and create litter.


You do not need to collect PPE separately but, if you do, you must describe and code your waste correctly.


Ask your waste contractor if there is anything else you need to do.


If your staff are using PPE at work to protect against risks other than coronavirus, they can throw it away in the usual way.


You can put used disposable face coverings and PPE in an ‘offensive waste’ collection (yellow bags with a black stripe), if you have one.


You may be able to use specialist PPE recycling services for some items. Ask your waste contractor.


The guidance can be read in full HERE.

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