Campaign group A Plastic Planet has launched the world’s first plastic-free PPE in a bid to assist the fight against coronavirus polluting the environment.
Since February 2020, 761 million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) have been distributed across the UK, most of which are made from plastic and have already been found littering beaches and marine environments across the country.
International campaign group A Plastic Planet and packaging companies Reelbrands and Transcend Packaging have come together to develop the first clear plastic-free visors to protect staff without contributing to plastic pollution.
Terracycle will provide a service where staff can use a dedicated bin for used PPE which Terracycle will then collect to recycle or compost the visors.
Three Oceans and delivery service Yodel who are working alongside the NHS to deliver tests have already placed orders for the equipment.
The campaign group has said they hope that this PPE will help to tackle two of the world’s most pressing issues: high demand for protective equipment and plastic pollution.
Sian Sutherland, the co-founder of A Plastic Planet, said: ‘No-one wants to compromise the safety of employees and the public; but the plastic PPE visors are used once and then exist for centuries, polluting our planet.
‘We wanted to lead by example and show that we can protect ourselves and protect our planet. We can no longer sacrifice nature without consequence. The public backs a green recovery from the pandemic because quite simply, we cannot self-isolate or vaccinate against the climate crisis.’
Liz Bonnin, science, wildlife and environmental broadcaster has also said: ‘PPE is vital for the protection of health care workers and to reduce the transmission of the virus. But it doesn’t have to be made from fossil fuels.
‘Covid-19 will be part of our lives for some time, and as lockdown rules ease, demand for PPE is only going to increase. Considering the plastic pollution crisis we are still battling, and the lessons we are learning from this pandemic about the need to work with nature instead of against it, Plastic Free PPE can help to protect us without further damaging the planet.’
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