What is the long-term solution to PPE waste?

A year on from the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is unclear if we are in a better or worse situation as a global population. At present, PPE is currently being employed everywhere, from hospitals to hospitality.

What is the long-term solution to PPE waste?

Image Credit: Inciner8 Limited

People understand why it is currently required, but what is the long-term solution to the PPE waste which has been created since the start of the pandemic? Prior to 2020, many people probably did not know the term PPE, but it is now fair to say that most people do.

Over the last 18 months, PPE may have saved millions of lives, keeping people safe and giving people a sense of protection and reassurance needed during one of the toughest battles of the modern era, but a colossal increase in PPE waste is the by-product of this protection.

Items that are considered PPE include:

  • Hairnets
  • Masks
  • Bags
  • Face shields
  • Gowns
  • Shoe coverings
  • Eye protection
  • Overalls
  • Gloves

Single-use PPE is now the norm and is thrown away after a certain period in use, or after each patient. PPE as we know it has been around for decades, but its increase in use has been truly astronomical over the past 18 months.

What is the long-term solution to PPE waste?

Image Credit: Inciner8 Limited

It is totally understandable that doctors, nurses and key workers might take a step back from sustainability when they are trying to protect themselves in work, as the COVID-19 pandemic has meant people on the front line of the battle are not only putting their health at risk but their families health too.

This has led to a massive PPE waste problem, there was a shortage of PPE at the beginning of the pandemic, but now, within the UK alone, there are approximately 50 million face masks going to landfill each day.

PPE has definitely helped the world steady the fight on COVID-19, but now there is the huge task of creating solutions and programs for where PPE waste will go, and vitally, how it will all be managed.

What should be done to PPE once used?

All PPE should be destroyed by utilizing high temperature incineration, just as with all medical waste. Inciner8 Limited’s range of Coronavirus Pandemic Incineration solutions are the obvious choice as they provide a safe, quick process that removes any chance of hazardous waste exposure.

All PPE can be incinerated, leaving just 3 % ash behind. The resulting ash can be disposed of in the most suitable and correct manner once this process has been performed.

The ideal choice is incinerating PPE at hospitals or clinics, as it would be all destroyed onsite. This decreases any potential cross-contamination from moving around hazardous waste.

Well-established hospitals and clinics can do this, but for ones located in lesser developed countries or smaller establishments, this may not be possible. In this case, this is where more portable or smaller incineration units come into consideration – such as the Portable Medical Waste Incinerator from Inciner8 Limited.

What is the long-term solution to PPE waste?

Image Credit: Inciner8 Limited

Why choose a smaller potentially portable incinerator?

The same effectiveness in destroying PPE & hazardous waste is supplied by using smaller, more portable incinerators. These models can be containerized or supplied on a trailer, meaning they are easy to move and are extremely mobile; they can travel to and from different locations as and when required.

In developing countries, a smaller group of clinics could have one unit which could cover two or three clinics per week and still keep hazardous waste extremely secure and limit any biosecurity threats.

The future of PPE and the waste it creates

PPE is sticking around; it is utilized around the world every second of the day. Thus, it is the future of PPE that we must consider, i.e., how it is utilized and how it is thrown away.

We know it is required and what it is utilized for, but can people utilize technology or manufacturing methods to alter what is currently available?

This could potentially have huge advantages in the future and have a monumental shift to decreasing waste around the globe. Today, we must focus on decreasing contamination and the risks of disease outbreaks, which is where Incineration comes in.

About Inciner8 Limited

Inciner8 Limited

Inciner8 are a globally respected manufacturing organisation offering a range of Incinerators for all applications in the waste management industry, our products are specifically designed with clean air incineration at the forefront of our product development for Medical, Animal by product and General Municipal waste streams.

After many years in the industry with a track record second to none we have become the company that existing and new clients from around the world come to for their incineration solutions

On top of supplying a range of standard models we have developed a bespoke service for specialist markets and requirements thus ensuring we cater for the needs of this growing industry.

Environmental awareness is always a factor in waste management, inciner8 realise the importance of this and continue to demonstrate full commitment in striving to understand and deliver solutions based on individual country regulations and standards, this has been recently enhanced by our range of products specifically launched to provide an extensive range of pollution control systems and heat recovery options.

Inciner8 - Corporate Intro

We are very proud of our company and Brand, our continued focus is to ensure we enhance that position on a global basis with new product development, listening to our clients as part of that process and communicating consistently in every aspect of our daily activity to keep our valued clients abreast of market changes and future developments from Inciner8.

Being a global leader comes with great responsibility, we value feedback as we continue daily to educate our people to ensure they give the most authoritive and educational information to our clients, which is why we employ highly skilled technicians and thermal treatment experts to support all of our client requirements in the decision making process in sourcing environmentally friendly quality products from Inciner8.


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Last updated: Oct 21, 2021 at 9:28 AM

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