The new service allows retail businesses to easily dispose face masks, gloves and other forms of workplace personal protective equipment

First Mile in Birmingham

First Mile has introduced PPE waste disposal service for retailers. (Credit: First Mile)

UK-based waste and recycling company First Mile has introduced new personal protective equipment (PPE) waste disposal service for retailers.

The new service enables retail businesses across London and Birmingham to easily dispose of face masks, gloves, and other forms of workplace PPE.

Multiple retail businesses are using PPE to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission to both staff and customers, and the demand for PPEs continue to increase due to the opening of more retailers.

Visitors and staff need to place used masks or gloves into one of First Mile’s self-contained sack-lined PPE boxes. They will be fastened upon filling.

The filled self-contained sack-lined PPE boxes will be collected via dedicated pickup service

After booking for a free collection by retailers, the boxes will be collected via PPE pickup service to avoid cross-contamination and taken for incineration as per the Offensive Waste guidelines.

The new service is said to be in line with the First Mile’s existing waste and recycling services that are fully operational across London and Birmingham.

First Mile has recommended businesses to take various measures during the Covid-19 pandemic, including sharing the risk assessment with the risk provider, arranging a deep clean for bins and bin areas and restricting external companies and visitors from entering the building/floor-walking.

Other measures include briefing cleaners or facilities staff to service internal bins and deliver the sacks to the pre-agreed pick-up point, as well as making GDPR-compliant arrangements for confidential waste at employee’s homes and handling of single-use PPE separately from other waste streams to limit contamination risk.

First Mile founder and CEO Bruce Bratley said: “Whatever the exact rules are as we emerge from lockdown, there will undoubtedly be an impact on retail businesses’ waste management, a service which is often left to the last minute.

“Now is the time and opportunity for retail companies to integrate end-of-life thinking into their plans.”

In February this year, First Mile teamed up with Decent Packaging, a plant-based packaging manufacturer, to further boost the UK’s recycling of compostable packaging.