The Covid-19 pandemic has been responsible for floods of new plastic waste streams, with the prevalence of items like disposable facemasks, gloves, and visors. With scientists predicting there are now more facemasks in the ocean than jellyfish, the problem is clearly out of control.
But as the test & trace efforts evolve, rapid testing is available twice weekly to the general public, presenting a whole new plastic waste issue. As many as 384 million kits have been ordered by the UK Government; all of which are currently going to landfill or being incinerated.
UK based recycling business ReWorked (www.reworked.com) is the first to offer a solution to this issue – by providing innovative recycling processing for these lateral flow tests.
The service is available to schools, workplaces, individuals using large amounts of the tests considered non-clinical. In a campaign hailed #ReclaimTheTest ReWorked sell PPE recycling boxes (https://www.reworked.com/product/ppe-recycling-box-face-mask-covid-waste/) which are designed to collect single-use facemasks, gloves, visors and now rapid tests.
The lateral flow testing kits are made using a variety of plastic elements by kerbside recycling services. Using innovative processing, the rapid tests & PPE waste collected by ReWorked will be pressed into 100% recycled plastic boards. These boards are made into bins, children’s chairs, outdoor furniture & building materials.
ReWorked marketing manager Izzie Glazzard said: “PPE recycling has been a focus for us over the past year, after seeing large amounts of discarded masks on the sides of the road & in the environment. With the Government increasing the number of rapid tests available to the public, this poses a whole new plastic issue we wanted to tackle.”