Brighton & Hove become first UK council to offer PPE recycling

Brighton & Hove become first UK council to offer PPE recycling

An innovative sustainability scheme has been launched across Brighton & Hove to recycle single-use PPE items. 

Brighton & Hove council have collaborated with recyclers ReWorked  to station PPE recycling bins & hand sanitiser stations around the city centre. The collection bins can be found in busy hotspots such as the SEA LIFE Centre, Komedia and i360.



They are making the area the first council in the UK to offer PPE recycling to its constituents. The scheme has been backed & funded by the Government, and European Union’s ‘Welcome Back’ fund, designed to help seaside resorts & city centres bounce back from covid safely.

Residents and visitors can use the bins to dispose of any single-use PPE items, including facemasks, visors, gloves and even lateral flow tests. 

Councillor Jamie Lloyd, deputy chair of the environment, transport and sustainability committee, said: “Facemasks have played a vital role in helping to keep us safe during the past year, but sadly they have also added to the litter on our streets, particularly in busy areas of the city.

It’s a particular concern on our seafront and beaches where the masks can make their way into the sea, causing further harm to our precious marine wildlife.

But we are delighted to be working with Reworked to collect used and unwanted masks and other PPE, removing them from the waste stream for recycling.

I hope residents will make good use of these bins, as they continue to wear their masks when in busy areas and help to keep the city safe.” 



Once the bins are full, the waste PPE is taken to innovative recyclers ReWorked, where it’s turned into furniture, shelters and even more PPE bins

ReWorked’s ethos is to provide an effective solution to waste plastic usually considered non-recyclable – to divert from landfills, incineration, and becoming pollution. The benefit of the local natural environments is a priority for the scheme, with PPE pollution seen across the UK in masses since the pandemic began.



Neil Harris, General Manager at SEA LIFE Brighton said: “It’s great to have the opportunity to support such a brilliant scheme of which thousands of visitors to our attraction will see every week, driving further awareness of the fact that disposable face coverings can be recycled. 

Although legal restrictions have recently lifted, we are still pro-actively encouraging all of our guests to still wear a face covering when they visit, so the fact that they can now dispose of these in a sustainable way really re-enforces our messages to care for our oceans. 

The team here at SEA LIFE Brighton recently carried out a local beach clean, collecting over 50 kilograms of rubbish in just 5 hours and a high proportion of this include disposable face coverings – we really hope that this new initiative will encourage more people to consider how they can dispose of their personal protective equipment in the future”

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