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How to Dispose of and Recycle PPE

November 18, 2020
Recycling box and PPE
TerraCycle Regulated Waste's solution for PPE disposal and recycling.

There is good news for fleets that care about safe disposal of PPE and the environment.

With the Covid-19 threat ongoing, an estimated 129 billion face masks and 65 billion plastic gloves are being produced every month. Although PPE has become indispensable to keep businesses and fleets operating, these items are not recyclable in typical bins and contribute to already crowded landfills.

And that's in the best scenario, when they're actually disposed of properly.

The problem is that this surge in production and protection has led to littered PPE covering job sites, streets, and literally flooding marine habitats.

To address this separate unintended public health crisis as well as the threat PPE poses to the environment as plastic pollution, a company called TerraCycle Regulated Waste has created a recycling solution for single-use gloves and masks.

Designed as a recycling system for businesses in need of a turnkey solution for hazardous waste disposal, the company's PPE EasyPak Containers allow business owners and managers to recycle used gloves and masks onsite, thereby allowing staff to responsibly dispose of their protective gear instead of littering the environment-at-large with plastic waste.

How to recycle PPE waste

TerraCycle Regulated Waste offers three types of containers:    

  • Disposable Gloves EasyPak Box– to recycle vinyl, nitrile, and latex gloves;
  • Disposable Masks EasyPak Box– to recycle surgical and industrial face masks; and
  • Safety Equipment and Protective Gear EasyPak Box– to recycle ear plugs, gloves, safety glasses, masks, and even disposable garments.

When full, the boxes are returned to TerraCycle Regulated Waste for processing and the collected waste will be cleaned, melted, and remolded to make new products. 

“TerraCycle Regulated Waste developed a solution for PPE waste that is as innovative as it is easy to use” said Kevin Flynn, global VP of TerraCycle operations and director of TerraCycle Regulated Waste. “The EasyPak recycling program can help businesses maintain workplace safety while simultaneously keeping their lots, grounds, surrounding communities, and shared environment free from plastic litter.” 

All EasyPak boxes are UN-compliant, the company says, and are sealed while in transit, limiting any possibility of contamination.

Additionally, the containers are available for purchase through a reorder subscription program ensuring that managers are never left without a solution to their universal waste.

The boxes travel for up to a week before they are received at TerraCycle Regulated Waste facilities, where additional safety precautions are taken in accordance with CDC recommendations. The EasyPak program does not accept medical waste or biohazardous materials.

Source: TerraCycle Regulated Waste

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