KCOM team up with ReWorked to recycle covid-PPE in green scheme

Internet provider KCOM has teamed up with fellow Hull-based ReWorked to recycle all the single-use PPE used by its employees during their working days.

The scheme labelled ‘Reclaim The Mask‘ will see thousands of PPE items diverted from landfill, incineration & becoming environmental litter. The PP (polypropylene) masks will be recycled & transformed into products such as furniture, construction material & even more PPE collection & sanitising stations!

 

KCOM recycle pandemic PPE #ReclaimTheMask ReWorked Hull

 

Mark Blenkinsop, KCOM’s head of CSR, said: “I’m delighted to be joining this scheme which will see all of our used plastic PPE recycled and turned into useful new products.

“As key workers, our engineers have been out and about helping to build vital new broadband infrastructure since the start of the pandemic as well as visiting homes across the region to connect new customers, all while following strict health and safety guidelines. This means they generate a lot of waste PPE that must be disposed of safely.

“As a company that’s committed to sending zero waste to landfill, this scheme is another great way for us to do our bit for the environment and make sure our PPE doesn’t contribute to the mountain of PPE waste that’s one of the unfortunate side effects of the pandemic.”

Since the pandemic began, unprecedented amounts of facemasks have reportedly been found scattered along roadsides & in waterways. Worldwide we’re using 129 billion facemasks & 65 billion plastic gloves every month. With statistics like these, it is without a doubt, schemes like this are essential.

The innovative processes used by ReWorked enable them to recover every element of the discarded PPE, including the metal nose strips & elasticated ears. The material is washed, shredded & mixed to a specific recipe before being pressed at 200+ degrees into solid plastic boards.

 

PPE recycling plastic tiles

Recycled plastic tiles made from 100% face-mask material – by ReWorked.

 

The durable boards can be used for shopfitting, joinery & furniture making – heading for a new life as a whole host of practical items. 

Izzie Glazzard, ReWorked’s marketing manager, said, “We’re absolutely thrilled to be supporting a fellow Hull-based business in their journey to becoming more sustainable. It takes this kind of bold initiative to drive real change in attitudes; KCOM is paving the way for many more to come”.

 

PPE collection & sanitiser stations

PPE collection & sanitiser stations made from 100% recycled plastic – by ReWorked.

 

ReWorked have engaged in many similar projects, working to process waste considered non-recyclable. Most recently supporting Boots customers in a cosmetics waste take-back scheme.

With a strong focus on reducing plastic pollution & creating viable routes for hard-to-recycle waste, expect to see many similar schemes to arise in the coming months.