DUBAI: The Dubai Chamber Sustainability Network Task Force on Waste Management recently organised a webinar advising businesses on sustainable, effective and safe disposal of personal protective equipment (PPE) solutions and best practices for dealing with COVID 19 posed waste management challenges in offices.
The webinar, titled Ensuring a Safe Disposal of PPE and COVID 19 Related Waste, examined safe disposal practices for biohazardous waste, which includes single-use gloves, aprons and gowns, surgical masks, face protectors in the form of glasses, goggles or face shields.
Participants were briefed on guidelines for disposing of and recycling a high volume of massive amount of medical and electronic waste safely and efficiently.
During the event, a panel was joined by Ms Dina Ataig Mohamed, Infection Control Officer, Ministry of Health and Prevention, Mr. Andre-Louis Brenie, General Manager, Suez Middle East Recycling LLC , Mr. Youssef Chechade, Managing Partner Ecyclex and Ms. Nadia Ibrahim, Head of Consultancy, Farnek, who shared their experiences and advice for businesses on PPE use and waste management.
One of the main recommendations from the panelists was the need for businesses to advise employees on procedures for removing PPE as gloves, considered the most contaminated waste, should be removed first in order to ensure health and safety.
According to panelists, it is crucial to immediately discard of PPE waste after removal, in order to prevent contamination of the clean area, while hand hygiene before and immediately should be common practice after removing PPE Waste.
Another suggestion was using FFP2 (N95) washable masks to reduce the amount of PPE waste accumulated. Regarding the recycling of e-waste, experts stressed the importance of employee engagement, communication and training. Collection drives can be organised at centralized locations with the support of a recycler who is ready to collect and recycle different types of e-waste.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a unique challenge to the business community in dealing with massive amounts of PPE and electronic waste. So, it is highly crucial for companies to encourage their employees to reuse and recycle e-waste in environmentally friendly ways,” said Dr. Belaid Rettab, Senior Director, Economic Research and Sustainable Business Development Sector, Dubai Chamber.
Dr. Rettab noted that the webinar proved to be an ideal platform for member companies of the task force to share best practices and learn about guidelines put in place by Ministry of Health and Prevention and Dubai Municipality for the safe disposal of PPE. He added that the event highlighted the need to raise awareness among employees to follow and adopt safe disposal practices for their waste.
The Dubai Chamber Sustainability Network is an essential platform for the business community to exchange information and experiences on matters related to corporate social responsibility and sustainability.