A Sustainability Dilemma And Potential Opportunities

Until the pandemic began, single-use plastics (SUPs) were disapproved of – we didn’t want to use them, we were trying to find ways to get rid of them safely and we had begun to find substitutes that could replace them forever. But when the virus struck, the world went into a desperate search for SUPs — in the form of PPE.

For 2020, the World Health Organization has projected that PPE supplies have increased by 40% monthly to deal effectively with the pandemic. Even after a vaccine is approved, the demand for PPE is not expected to decline. Apart from that, other and more SUPs are being used by businesses restarting their activities in a post-pandemic scenario. All things considered, the possibility to recover polymers from mixed healthcare waste – including PPE – has become very challenging.

New research indicates that PPE disinfection and reuse is possible on a large scale through methods such as infusion of hydrogen peroxide vapour and infusion of base materials with antimicrobial nanoparticles. Therefore, the  companies investing in research to produce such a method and gets its product validated, will create a huge advantage in a market that is eager to use such options.