Health and Safety

Dispose of Gloves, Masks and Wipes Properly — in the Garbage

Gloves, masks and wipes can help save lives — but they don’t belong in recycling bins or our environment.

MAY 7, 2020 - During this pandemic, certain plastic items are helping protect our frontline workers, as well as the rest of us when we need to be out in our neighborhoods. Plastic gloves, masks, sanitizing hand wipes — all are helpful in preventing exposure to the coronavirus.

But they do not belong littered in our environment. Or in recycling bins.

When disposed of improperly, these life-saving items can become life-threatening.

  • Some news stories have reported the improper disposal of these products in grocery store parking lots, which puts customers and retail workers at risk.
  • Other stories have noted an increase of these protective products in recycling bins, which puts our recycling workers at risk since they often sort recyclables by hand.

Please dispose of any protective product that could be contaminated in a garbage can with ties and lids in place to prevent litter.

From Single Use to Reuse is working toward the day when plastics that are difficult to recycle today — even medical plastics — are collected and repurposed for another use. In the meantime, let’s protect our medical workers, our waste/recycling workers and each other by properly disposing of gloves, masks, wipes and other protective products.

Progress in action

Explore news about trends, innovations, plastic solutions, and From Single Use to Reuse partners.

See All Stories