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If you’re a regular reader of these Leaders you’ll realise how concerned I’ve been about the huge numbers of soiled, single-use facemasks blighting our planet. Like many others, I abhor wearing a mask and as soon as I leave whatever establishment I’ve briefly visited, tear mine off. But unlike so many other folk, I put mine in my pocket or bag, to be used again a few trips down the line. This has worked for me so far but I did have a ‘moment’ last week when struggling to keep my mask in place, before realising that it wasn’t my own mask I was fiddling with, but a larger one belonging to someone else. My next thought was: ‘Lucky I don’t go around picking up the discarded ones then!’ At least it was a family member’s…
Friends complain about the lack of waste bins specifically for these masks. My view is that there are plenty of bins around and it's better to use them than create hazardous litter. As well as the health issues, many of us are concerned about the damage these masks do to the environment. Globally, we dealt with plastic bags, but now we have facemasks blighting our open spaces and ensnaring wildlife instead.
It's not just selfishly-discarded facemasks that are of concern; it's all the extra PPE we're using - particularly in hospitals. In Cornwall alone, hospital disposable mask use went from 300 a day in 2019 to 10,000 a day in 2020! Then there's all the other PPE to consider. What are we going to do with it all?
Welsh company TCG Solutions has come to the rescue. It's collecting compacted, single-use plastic such as hospital curtains, sterilisation tray wraps, theatre gowns and face masks, and its Sterimelt machines, using patented thermal technology, melt everything into solid blocks of plastic that can be made into items such as bins, toolboxes and bottles - and potentially used for 3D printing.
TGS founder Philip Davison-Sebry, (pictured here with son and colleague Thomas) says the machines are an answer to single use plastic in general - not just surgical waste - and can see them becoming a big contributor to the circular economy, which is great news.
Now we just need to include the carelessly-discarded masks into the mix & we'll be there!
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This Week's News
While the standard of cleanliness is one of the top priorities for many premises, it's important to also consider the safety of staff undertaking the actual cleaning, says Graeme Kelly, assistant director for decontamination services at the NHS Deep Cleaning & Advisory Service. Here are Graeme's top tips on how to keep your cleaning staff safe during the pandemic:
The contract term is three years with a two-year extension and is the latest in a series of education cleaning contracts awarded to Brayborne covering over 20 sites across southern England.
Incentive QAS, the contract cleaning arm of Incentive FM Group, has urged its competitors to follow suit in tackling the problems of chemical cleaning solutions and find a sustainable way to complete commercial cleaning tasks.
The partnership agreement, which was concluded in 2017, originally runs until 2024. However, it has subsequently turned out to be difficult to realise the potentials and opportunities that was a crucial part of the foundation of the partnership. For this reason, negotiations of a possible termination of the contract are now being initiated.
BSCAI's 2021 president is Eric Luke, CBSE, CPA, president of MG Capital Maintenance, a successful BSC that primarily serves customers in North Carolina and Florida.
Following December's announcement, Essity has now agreed with hygiene company Asaleo Care, which began life 1n 1932 as the British Australian Paper Company, to acquire the remaining 63.8% of its shares. Essity currently holds 36.2% of the shares.
Open World Technology Group (part of SIA Holding) has developed Velvet2030, a complete sanitising solution to keep viruses, bacteria and odours at bay, to help businesses clean-up their buildings and reassure their staff and customers that they are working in an ideal and safe environment.
Velvet2030 has been developed following extensive research and input from environmental experts in the Energy Safety Research Institute (ESRI) at Swansea University in Wales and the University of Arizona in the US.
Everyone is facing challenges in the pandemic, from isolation to anxiety. In the cleaning and hygiene sector these are compounded by working on the frontline to keep workplaces clean and safe, and maintaining the supply of essential cleaning and hygiene products. The pressure is intense.
Acknowledging the potential impact on the health of people in the sector, the Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association is hosting a mental wellbeing webinar for members:'How are we doing?'
IDTechEx has recently launched ‘Antimicrobial Technology Market 2021-2031’, a market research report covering additives and coatings that imbue surfaces and products with the ability to remove microorganisms such as bacteria, virus, and fungi.
This market has received significant attention from governments, industry, and even consumers over 2020, due to the technology's potential to address transmission of Covid-19, with some companies experiencing triple- and quadruple-digit growth. Antimicrobial films and antimicrobial face masks are just two of the best-selling product types during the pandemic.
School custodians in North America have been the unsung heroes of the pandemic by continuing to provide a cleaner and healthier learning environment for students, faculty and staff.
Xenex Disinfection Services has announced the launch of Deactivate, a high-powered, handheld LED device designed to quickly disinfect surfaces in confined spaces.
The three key trends cover infection control; visibility and frequency of cleaning, and increased sustainability - and are predicted to govern the cleaning practices used by businesses as they continue to manage the impact of the pandemic.
A letter was sent last week to EPA acting administrator Jane Nishida, voicing "strong support" for the program "as well as our concern for its long-term viability”.
A sustainable hygiene solutions company has highlighted how waterless urinals could play a vital role in future infection control; as well as carrying environmental and financial benefits.
Evonik has reinforced its position as a sustainable specialities partner for the personal care and cleaning industry by winning the 2020 Henkel Sustainable Award for the second straight year.
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