Business disposal of PPE

The government has released advice on disposal of PPE if you run a business or organisation.

It includes that you 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
  • 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.

Cleaning waste

If you’re producing additional waste because of extra cleaning of work places, business premises and public places during coronavirus, you should dispose of this waste as normal.  Put used cloths and wipes in the ‘black bag’ waste bin.  You do not need to put them in an extra bag or store them for a time before throwing them away.

If you’re managing a suspected or confirmed outbreak of coronavirus follow the guidance on cleaning non-healthcare settings.

Litter picking during coronavirus

If you see litter you can report it to your local council.

You can carry out voluntary litter-picking. If you do this with other people you must follow the guidance on staying safe outside your home.  If you collect littered face coverings or PPE, handle these with care. Dispose of them in a ‘black bag’ bin, not in a recycling bin. You should use safety equipment, including thick gloves, litter-pickers and heavy-duty bags. Read further information on the Keep Britain Tidy website.

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