The Strategist

UN: 87,000 tons of personal protective equipment turn into waste

02/16/2022 - 07:46

WHO conducted a study on medical waste during the pandemic. Nearly 87,000 tons of personal protective equipment (PPE) that the UN turned over to various agencies became unrecycled trash.

According to a new report from the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 87,000 tons of personal protective equipment that the UN handed over to various medical facilities during the pandemic was not recycled and became medical waste.

According to the study‚Äôs authors, just the amount of unrecycled waste that the initiative generates is already signaling the beginning of a global problem. 

During the pandemic, for example, the UN sent 140 million COVID-19 tests around the world, which likely turned into 2,600 tons of waste. And packaging from 8 billion doses of vaccine used worldwide became 144,000 tons of medical waste, according to the report. 

Also, according to the WHO, nearly one-third of medical facilities worldwide is currently unable to handle the amount of medical waste and cannot dispose of it properly and promptly. 

The report's authors urged medical organizations to strive for more sustainable use of personal protective equipment and to increase investment in waste disposal facilities.