The dark side of covid test kits and the mountain of PPE we have used

The dark side of covid test kits and the mountain of PPE we have used

We carried out a little research in the week of the 18th of January. We have been wondering, like many others have questioned. We wanted to know if the main plastic in the lateral flow test kit is recyclable. And we found out that they are not recyclable?

We we hope this will change in the future but the research we careied out helped us to discover information from local councils informing residents not to recycle their test kits.

Why are they not recycled via the general recycling systems run by our counties? The reason is that recycling facilities do not have ability to Separately process these plastic waste that as they are not allowed to be recycled back into theneral houshold wastes qithout a sterilisation process. We guess this is harder in practice than it sounds, so the conventional recycling facilities mostly just avoid them.

But they are a kind of plastic? - The kind of plastic they are made of is not shown on the kit, so you can't even be sure of the grade of plastic let alone which recycling bin to put it. The used testing kits are also classed as personal waste (just like tampons, or used toilet tissues), so 🤷 you get the idea!

We hope the era of mass testing will be beyond us soon so we can have less waste being generated in the first place 🙂.

Also, in our research we found that some wonderful independent groups have takenit on themselves to recycling used PPE kits and odd wastes that would have been hard to recycle. They collect these waste and tyrn them into other usable items such as pavement bricks, sitting bench, plant pot among many others.

We have discovered Reworked - recycling the unrecyclable, turning waste into other usable items) and Salon Sustainability -  Recycling waste generated by salons around the country, they collect sort, and recycle hair, and alomost all forms of waste that is generated by any salon.

  Outdoor furniture made out of recycled used PPE facemasl, covif test kits and many other plastic Image from Reworked

Businessed have to pay to use the services of these wonderful companies but we hope that we can all be on the look out for unique ways to turn our waste into other usable items whether via a DIY process or by specialist companies.

For now, we hope this helps to enlighten you to watch ou and check if your waste is recyclable before you attempt to recycle them.

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