Tips for the proper disposal of gloves and masks - regina paper for peopleTips for the proper disposal of gloves and masks - regina paper for people
Hygiene and Cleaning > Hygiene

How should gloves and masks be disposed of properly?

Tempo di lettura - Regina Paper for People Reading time: 2 min

We’ve all spotted them.

Discarded face masks and latex or nitrile gloves littering our streets, car parks and green spaces.

Unexpected environmental effects

Not only could this obviously selfish litter cause the spread of disease amongst our essential and frontline workers, but these plastic items could end up in our oceans.

As cases of Coronavirus recede in some parts of the world, it seems a new plague of plastic waste is advancing despite many of us experiencing a positive mental reset around environmental concerns.

But happily, leaders are taking action.

Action against waste across the world

In line with World Oceans Day, France is increasing fines to €750 for littering of masks and gloves and in New York, the current fine has doubled to $1,000USD.

And environmental organisations in the UK such as the UCL Plastic Waste innovation Hub is currently trying to get the government to stop promoting single-use masks to the general public. And PlasticOceans regional director for Europe, Mike Bilodeau, says instead of importing PPE, it should be made locally and done in such a way that the plastic elements can be recycled and reused – thus making it more environmentally friendly in the long term.

Tips for the proper disposal of gloves and masks - regina paper for people

Can I recycle gloves and face masks?

Current government guidelines are for plastic face masks and gloves to be treated as rubbish and appropriately disposed of in bins.

But, is it possible to recycle plastic masks and gloves to avoid landfill?

In the UK, recycling group Terracycle have launched a scheme to recycle household single-use gloves, but only where no suspect of infection exists. A map of gloves recycling drop off locations can be found here.

At Regina, Sustainability is and always has been our guiding principle. Our customers can be assured that all of our paper products – from kitchen towel, to toilet paper, to napkins – are made with environmentally sound processes, from procurement of the raw materials to paper production, from distribution to sales.