New PPE Waste Guidance Issued by DEFRA

New guidance has been published by Defra on how to dispose of personal or business waste – including personal protective equipment (PPE) and face coverings- throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The guidance, which was published on 13th July 2020, only applies to England and is not for healthcare settings such as hospitals or primary care providers.

The new advice states that, unless someone is self-isolating, it is not mandatory to double-bag PPE when disposing of it, and there is no need to store waste PPE for any extra amount of time.

For businesses, the guidance states that they must provide additional bins for staff and customers to throw away waste face coverings, and must ensure that these bins are regularly emptied.

The new guidance has been brought into effect as a result of face masks/coverings becoming mandatory in all shops in England on 24th July 2020.

There has been no changes to the disposal of cleaning waste, and this should be disposed of as normal – with used cloths and wipes being put into ‘black bag’ waste bins. However if you are self-isolating with a possible or confirmed case of COVID-19, then you should follow the stay at home guidance for the cleaning and disposal of waste.

Read the full updated guidance on the disposal of PPE on the GOV.UK website here.