The Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) applauds the public effort to maintain and indeed increase the level of domestic recycling through lockdown.  Unfortunately, there is evidence that some have been disposing of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), in their household recycling.


The CPI is the leading trade association representing the UK’s Paper-based Industries, comprising paper and board manufacturers and converters, corrugated packaging producers, makers of soft tissue papers, and collectors of paper for recycling.


The CPI represents an industry with an aggregate annual turnover of £11 billion, with 56,000 direct and a further 86,000 indirect employees.


The CPI is urging the public not to put this material in recycling and ensure that it is disposed of appropriately. 


Used PPE that is wrongly included for recycling is placing essential frontline workers at further risk during this health crisis, because those collecting, sorting and handling this material are potentially exposed to the virus.


PPE should not be recycled, it should be treated in the same way as domestic medical waste such as properly contained sharps and soiled hygiene products such as nappies and pads, and should be bagged separately and disposed of in general waste.


There is evidence that some have been disposing of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), in their household recycling

Director of Raw Materials at the Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI), Simon Weston said,

“In recent days and weeks, we have received disturbing reports and images of PPE, including discarded masks and gloves in household collected recycled paper.

Whilst CPI welcomes the continuing support of the public in recycling household material and thereby sustaining a key manufacturing sector, PPE cannot be recycled with paper and board. It is vital that such material is disposed of properly in general refuse.

Risking the health of key workers in this way undermines the good work and sacrifice that they and the majority of the public have and continue to make to overcome Covid-19.”


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