21/09/20 – Environment / Recycling / Zero Waste / Single-use / Waste Management / PPE / TerraCycle

TerraCycle’s ‘Zero Waste Box’ offers a unique, safe recycling solution for PPE waste

 TerraCycles-Zero Waste Box-offers a uni

The Covid-19 pandemic has underscored how crucial single-use materials remain as highly reliable and affordable solutions for personal protection equipment (PPE). Yet the public necessity for such items has also brought into sharp focus our vulnerabilities to pollution. TerraCycle – an expert in traditionally non-recyclable waste – has responded to the challenge with its innovative ‘Zero Waste Box’ solution.

Between the end of February and mid-April this year, more than one billion items of PPE were issued in the UK alone, according to World Economic Forum data. This spike in consumption in hard-to-recycle materials forces us to rethink our attitude towards recycling and find a sustainable solution for PPE waste, which often ends up in landfill or littering the streets. 


As a leading expert in traditionally ‘non-recyclable’ waste, TerraCycle provides a unique recycling solution for all types of single-use PPE (that is, products that are not recyclable through conventional recycling facilities), thus giving them a new life in a variety of forms.


A turnkey solution for hard-to-recycle materials


TerraCycle offers a solution to collect and recycle PPE via its ‘Zero Waste Box’ system – a turnkey solution to recycle hard-to-recycle waste for individuals, households, schools, businesses, manufacturing facilities, and events looking to offset their impacts and lighten their environmental footprint.


When placed in public spaces such as shops or within businesses, TerraCycle’s Zero Waste Boxes for PPE encourage people to responsibly dispose of their PPE for recycling instead of throwing these items into landfill bins or often simply throwing them on the ground after use. 


When full, the boxes are returned to TerraCycle for processing and the collected PPE waste is first aggregated before being cleaned and melted into pellets.  The resulting recycled pellet material can then be used by third-parties to manufacture a variety of new products including outdoor furniture, plastic shipping pallets, outdoor decking, watering cans, storage containers, bins, and tubes for construction applications.  


Safety measures to protect customers, employees and partners 


Due to the Coronavirus outbreak and safety measures put in place to protect its customers, employees and partners, TerraCycle told Industry Networker that it is taking extra measures to ensure the safety of its operators.  The firm said that anyone self-isolating, quarantined or suspected of being infected with Covid-19 should not use the Zero Waste Box solution to recycle their PPE material and that they should follow Government guidelines on how to dispose of such waste. 


TerraCycle’s PPE Zero Waste Box solutions do not accept fabric, homemade or paper face masks, but can collect surgical-type masks as long as they don't come from a medical environment. “As per legal guidelines, we cannot accept any medical waste, such as material contaminated with blood or bodily fluids, and waste originating from healthcare facilities, hospitals, home care services, physicians' offices, dental offices, blood banks, veterinary clinics, research laboratories, etc.” 


Unique, easy and safe PPE recycling solution 


Considering these uncertain COVID-19 times, we have increased our PPE Zero Waste Box offering, to provide more specific solutions for these objects which are now increasingly part of daily life”, says Laure Cucuron, General Manager of TerraCycle Europe. “We are proud to be able to offer all consumers a unique, easy and safe solution for keeping PPE waste out of landfills and from being littered, paving the way for a greener future.” 


TerraCycle, the world leader in the collection and repurposing of complex waste streams, created the Zero Waste Box solution to provide solutions for difficult-to-recycle waste that cannot be recycled through standard council/municipal recycling or via TerraCycle’s brand-sponsored, free national recycling programmes. 


To learn more about TerraCycle and its innovative recycling solutions, visit www.terracycle.co.uk. You can also find more information about how Zero Waste Boxes work at: https://zerowasteboxes.terracycle.co.uk/pages/how-it-works-1

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