In the News: The Top Recycling Stories Making the Headlines
Consumers Urged to Recycle Amid Global Shortage of Hand Gel Pump Dispensers and Bottle Tops
We have seen shortages of many goods during the coronavirus outbreak, from toilet rolls to rice and pasta, and of course, hand sanitiser.
The ‘wash your hands’ mantra has been the main message from the government and NHS, as it’s the most effective way to avoid spreading the virus, and this has led to a huge surge in the demand for hand sanitiser. The demand has seen stocks run out fast, and unscrupulous online sellers selling them for as much as £50 for two bottles!
Alcohol-based hand gels attack the structure of the coronavirus
Hand sanitisers that contain at least 60% alcohol will kill most viruses, and this is the case with the coronavirus. The virus cells have a coating around them which the alcohol can penetrate and attack. You will no doubt have seen recipes for making homemade hand gel, but sadly, most of these won’t do the trick. Not only are they probably ineffective against the virus, they might be a bit too harsh on your skin if you don’t get the right mix of ingredients.
The global shortage of plastic bottle closures
Luckily, the stock of gels and hand sanitiser soaps is recovering after the initial rush of panic buying, and this is good news for consumers and those on the frontline alike. But while there are plenty of bottles for the products, bottle closures-that is, hand trigger sprays, pump dispensers, and flip top plastic lids- are in short supply.
These are also used on cleaning product bottles which have also been in demand since we’ve been told to scrupulously clean surfaces, sinks, and even our groceries to keep the virus at bay.
The shortage of trigger sprays, pumps, and lids has meant that there have been problems getting essential products like hand gels to where they are desperately needed.
Why is there a shortage?
The bottle closures are in such short supply because guess where the two main manufacturers of said bottle closures are located? China and Northern Italy! Yes, you read that right, two of the countries that have been worst affected by the coronavirus.
Neither country are able to give an estimate as to when production is going to be back up to speed, so what can we do?
Consumers are being urged to recycle bottles and bottle closures
Many of us get confused about whether we can recycle bottle tops or pump dispensers, and whether we should remove them from bottles or not. Well this is not the time to worry too much about that. Retailers are being asked to encourage customers to return any empty hand gel, cleaning product, or personal care bottles to stores so they can be recycled and repurposed into new product bottles.
Consumers are also being encouraged to prioritise collecting empty personal care and cleaning product bottles and closures of any size or brand, giving them a rinse, putting them in a cardboard box, and booking a free collection at recyclebox.co.uk. The recycling firm First Mile Recycling will come and collect them, and every bottle closure will be cleaned and processed before being turned into new products that can be sent to where they are needed most.