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PPE waste – is remanufacturing the solution?

With support from Zero Waste Scotland, the Scottish Institute for Remanufacturing challenged academics across a number of disciplines to investigate potential remanufacturing, repurposing, and reuse solutions for PPE waste created as a result of the Covid pandemic.

We funded seven projects across a range of disciplines including Architecture, Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Materials. In June 2021, the academics involved in these projects participated in a webinar to share the results of their exploratory research, and the opportunitiy to discuss how their suggestions can be further developed to make a real impact on creating a sustainable and circular pathway for PPE waste.

The presentations were as follows:

  • Increased PPE and medical equipment manufacturing to fight COVID-19: An egregious approach for the environment – Damola Akano and Prof. Winifred Ijomah, Design, Manufacturing and Engineering Management (DMEM)
  • Potential for Open Loop Remanufacturing for PPE Waste to Construction Products – Andy Campbell, Dept. Architecture.
  • Sustainable manufacturing strategies for Personal Protection Equipment (PPEs) in the light of COVID – Dr Kingsley Oturu and Prof. Winifred Ijomah, Design, Manufacturing and Engineering Management (DMEM).
  • Waste identification and reduction in construction and operation from using PPE against coronaviruses in Scotland – Dr Zhen Chen, Dept. Architecture.
  • Repurposing disposable household face masks – Zicheng Zhu, National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS).
  • Upcycling PPE waste for Energy Storage – Dr Aruna Ivaturi, Dept. Pure and Applied Chemistry

Watch again here: