There are two philosophies competing on the personal protective equipment (PPE) market.
- The prevailing philosophy argues for the use of disposable PPE. The disposable PPE is still sworn by most PPE users, both in the public and private sectors, as the use of disposable PPE, except for waste bins, does not require any additional engagement. The product is opened, followed by use, and after use the product is discarded. The process is simple and straightforward, but at the same time it is part of the current unsustainable development model, from the nature and resources point of view. Inconsistency is pointed out by a paradoxical situation: most users anticipate and need a laundry service for other used equipment (work clothes, bedding, towels, ...), but not for PPE that could easily be included in the cleaning process, which would allow it to be reused.
- The other philosophy puts reusable PPE at the center. In doing so, it joins a sustainable understanding of development and the paradigm of reuse and circulation, which in perspective develops product attachment. In contrast to disposable PPE, reusable PPE requires the user to place the equipment in a suitable place (dirty laundry basket), wash, dry and redistribute it. It is a process that everyone knows from home and has been going on for decades.
Reusable PPE addresses 4 strategic challenges of today:
- Financial aspect. The purchase of reusable PPE is economized in the short term.
- Creating and securing jobs and investing in research and development in Europe.
- Strategic autonomy and flexibility in the production and distribution of PPE.
- Ecological and sustainable aspect. The disposable/single-use PPE is treated as hazardous waste after use. It is a large consumer of natural resources and burdens the natural environment throughout the entire process from production to destruction. The reusable PPE waste is disposed of as general waste at the end of its life cycle. Due to its long service life and practically unlimited shelf life, it can be characterized as a sustainable product.
Reusable PPE is currently only sworn by the avant-garde in the public and private sectors. Those are the ones who understand that natural and financial resources are limited and that the adoption of reusable PPE, and the consequential abandonment of disposable PPE is crucial for a sustainable future.
Be avant-garde and use PPE by BTT textil.