Thanks to a pandemic, personal protective equipment (PPE) has become a crucial part of our lives. Whether in the workplace or at home, wearing PPE helps keep us safe and curb the spread of the coronavirus. However, the increase in its use has created another problem; an escalation in the number of masks and gloves littered almost everywhere.
While we take responsibility for our health and that of those around us by putting on precautionary apparatus, if we don’t dispose of them properly after use, we negate the purpose of wearing them in the first place. As such, we must take measures to throw out PPE into the appropriate waste streams when they’re no longer needed. For example, businesses should provide waste bins for PPE around the workplace.
They should also ensure that employees dispose of their masks and gloves properly in these disposable PPE bins to avoid littering the streets with them after work hours. Homeowners should also adopt similar practices in their residencies. This way, they keep themselves and their family members safe from the spread of the virus. Briefly, we’ll look at some other tips on disposing of personal protective equipment like hand gloves and face masks.
Tips on How to Properly Dispose of Hand Gloves
Most hand gloves used as PPE against coronavirus are latex gloves. As such, they’re single-use and are not recyclable. Therefore, you should throw them out immediately after the first use. However, ensure you take them off properly before disposal. Here’s a step by step guide on removing hand gloves:
- Step One: Hold one glove at the base level and slowly take it off, ensuring it turns inside out in the process. Do not allow your hand to touch your skin in the process.
- Step Two: Hold the glove in your other gloved hand, then slide your bare hand under the wrist of the second glove and slowly remove it. Also, ensure it turns inside out and envelopes the first glove.
- Step Three: Dispose of both gloves in a PPE glove bin nearby, then proceed to wash and sanitize both hands.
This method is the safest way to remove and dispose of latex gloves. However, it is also good practice to move around with a plastic bag, just in case you need to throw away your hand gloves and you cannot find a PPE waste bin while you’re out. You can put them in the bag till you get home and get rid of them properly.
Furthermore, PPE bins used in the office or home should come with closed lids and be touch-free. You should also ensure you line them with garbage bags. Make sure you purchase an appropriate waste bin for PPE for your office or home space to allow you to dispose of your hand gloves the right way.
Tips on How to Properly Dispose of Face Masks
Unlike gloves, there are reusable face masks. You do not necessarily need to dispose of these, as you can wash them and wear them multiple times. Just make sure you don’t share them with anyone else.
However, if you use disposable masks, then you must ensure to get rid of them properly and not leave them lying around carelessly, endangering others in the process. There’s also a recommended way to remove your face mask before throwing it out. Here’s a guide on how to properly take off COVID-19 face masks:
- Step One: Hold the mask by the ear loops and slowly pull it away from your face.
- Step Two: Dispose of the mask in a PPE mask bin close to you.
- Step Three: Wash and sanitize your hands.
You should also carry a bag whenever you’re going out, just in case you do not find a PPE waste bin when you want to discard your face mask. You can throw it in the bag and dispose of it properly once you’re home.