How to dispose of disposable masks safely

How to dispose of disposable masks safely. Did you know that every month a staggering 200 billion disposable masks and gloves are dumped into the environment?  It’s a frightening amount of waste. What’s worse, is that disposable masks and gloves cannot be recycled. They are both a vital requirement in the fight against COVID-19, but also the poster child for the throwaway generation.

Cleaning teams are faced with a challenge.  Office and industrial waste bins are overflowing with these single-use PPE items which is a WHS risk.  So, how do you keep your cleaning teams safe and protected, whilst knowing how to dispose of disposable masks safely?

Disposable masks, although made of a paper product cannot head to the recycling bin. However, it is a common mistake to assume that these masks can be dumped in mixed recycling, which then contaminates genuine recyclable products.

By setting up separate bins at entry and exit points in any building such as schools, warehouses, industrial units and office buildings you can solve two problems.  Firstly, all PPE is collected in one place, this greatly reduces the spread of germs and bacteria. Secondly, recycle stations and waste streams avoid contamination with non-recyclable materials.

In addition to this, your cleaning teams are also protected. By encouraging people to do the right thing and put their disposable masks and gloves in separate bins, your cleaning staff are aware of where these items are and they aren’t left with a higher risk of picking used masks out of bins and recycling stations. The used PPE can be carefully collected and thrown out with general waste.

A greener option

Until there is a widely available recyclable disposable face mask, and other PPE, consider encouraging or even purchasing reusable, washable masks for your employees. Choosing this option only offers safe protection for your staff, but also for the environment and your cleaning teams too.

We hope you found this post on how to dispose of disposable masks safely. If you want to know more, check out our COVID-Cleaning services.

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