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Brighton recycles PPE

Brighton & Hove becomes the first UK council to offer PPE recycling
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
Brighton recycles PPE

An innovative sustainability scheme has been launched across Brighton & Hove to recycle single-use PPE items.

Brighton & Hove council has collaborated with recyclers ReWorked to station PPE recycling bins and hand sanitiser stations around the city centre.

The collection bins can be found in busy hotspots such as the SEA LIFE Centre, Komedia and i360.

This makes Brighton & Hove the first council in the UK to offer PPE recycling to its constituents.

‘Face masks have played a vital role in helping to keep us safe during the past year, but sadly they have also added to the litter on our streets, particularly in busy areas of the city.

‘It’s a particular concern on our seafront and beaches where the masks can make their way into the sea, causing further harm to our precious marine wildlife.

‘But we are delighted to be working with Reworked to collect used and unwanted masks and other PPE, removing them from the waste stream for recycling.

‘I hope residents will make good use of these bins, as they continue to wear their masks when in busy areas and help to keep the city safe.’

Deputy chair of the environment, transport and sustainability committee

From face masks to furniture

Residents and visitors can use the bins to dispose of any single-use PPE items, including face masks, visors, gloves and even lateral flow tests.

Once the bins are full, the waste PPE is taken to innovative recyclers ReWorked, where it’s turned into furniture, shelters and even more PPE bins!

What you can recycle

The following PPE items can be recycled in the bins:

  • Disposable face masks
  • Plastic gloves
  • Visors and face screens
  • Safety gear (helmets, bump caps)
  • Goggles and safety spectacles
  • Earplugs
  • Plastic overalls and clothing covers
  • Lateral flow tests (to be placed within the plastic/foil bag it comes in)

Recycling the ‘unrecyclable’

ReWorked’s ethos is to provide an effective solution to waste plastic usually considered non-recyclable, so it’s diverted from landfills and incineration and prevented from becoming pollution.

The benefit of the local natural environments is a priority for the scheme, with PPE pollution seen across the UK in masses since the pandemic began.

The scheme has been backed and funded by the government and the European Union’s ‘Welcome Back’ fund, designed to help seaside resorts and city centres bounce back from covid safely.

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