The Dark Side of Single-Use PPE Kits
COVID-19 has brought to light the excessive use and high expense of disposable PPE in hospitals and other healthcare settings. We can all agree that patients, staff, and residents must be safe in healthcare facilities. But it appears that the medical industry is receiving a free pass as we work to eliminate single-use plastic because more sustainable technology and goods are entering the market.
Exploring the Dark Side
Respirators, gloves,masks,goggles, face shields, and other medical personal protective equipment are all constructed of plastic, used only a handful of times, and thrown away. Polypropylene is extensively used to produce surgical items like respirators, masks and shoe covers. These items may stay around for quite some time, as similar everyday plastic products can take hundreds of years to disintegrate. Similarly, gloves are typically fabricated from non-biodegradable, long-lasting plastics like PVC or NBR.
Being constructed from such sturdy materials, the vast usage of PPE kits during the epidemic has led to more of it finding its way into nature. Data recently disclosed by a single NHS trust in Lincolnshire, England, provides context for the widespread adoption of PPE in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. 72,000 pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) are utilised daily across the four hospitals in the trust. It includes 11,495 gloves, 39,500 masks,4,201 respirator masks, 1,501 gowns,and eye protection. At least 10 million personal protective equipment (PPE) pieces are used daily in the United Kingdom’s 226 comparable trusts, with most being made of disposable plastic.
How to Reverse its Dark Effects?
Many people worldwide are now proposing viable alternatives to plastic that are either plastic-free or reusable. Nearly 80% of plastic pollution may be eliminated by 2040 using current technologies and knowledge, according to a new paper published in the journal Science by researchers from the Pew charity trust and SYSTEMIQ. Several compostable bag manufacturers in India care for people and the environment and offer sustainable alternatives to these single-use plastic PPE kits.
Some alternatives and similar technologies that have been tried and tested or are currently available are:
- A decontamination system for use in intensive care settings. In this Ohio-made container, up to 80,000 pieces of PPE can be cleaned simultaneously.
- Researchers at the University of Nebraska are investigating whether or not masks and respirators may be decontaminated using UV radiation.
- There are biodegradable gloves on the market that will break down in a landfill in as little as two years.
- The cellulose and paper board used to construct this face visor make it suitable for home composting. It is priced similarly to competing plastic options.
Options like these can help reduce our reliance on single-use plastics. Personal protective equipment (PPE) may offer solutions to cut down on long-term expenses and environmental damage, aiding the movement to eliminate single-use plastic. As a leading compostable shoe cover manufacturer, we at NaturTrust take of you and the environment with biodegradable shoe covers and other related products. If you are searching for relevant options in order to sustain the environment, make your first order for eco-friendly PPE kits from us.