A workplace PPE takeback program from TerraCycle aims to help businesses recycle single-use personal protective equipment (PPE) on site that would otherwise end up in landfills.
Used gloves and masks are not recyclable in the blue bin. The mail-in EasyPak collection boxes from TerraCycle Regulated Waste allow workers to dispose of used PPE in a dedicated box instead of throwing the items on the ground or in the trash, the company says. When full, the boxes can be returned in the mail using an included prepaid shipping label. TerraCycle then cleans, melts, and remolds the material to make new products, such as plastic shipping pallets, railroad ties, or outdoor furniture, says Shaye DiPasquale, a spokesperson for TerraCycle.
Three types of PPE collection boxes are available: one to recycle vinyl, nitrile and latex gloves; one for surgical and industrial face masks; and one for assorted safety gear such as ear plugs, beard nets, disposable garments, and safety glasses.
The EasyPak boxes are UN-compliant and are sealed while in transit to limit contamination. TerraCycle follows CDC recommendations when opening the boxes and handling the material for processing, DiPasquale says. The EasyPak program does not accept medical waste or biohazardous materials, the company says.