The UK will destroy COVID-19 protective equipment worth billions of dollars

Discover why the UK government plans to destroy billions of dollars worth of COVID-19 protective equipment and the controversy surrounding their decision. Find out why burning defective facemasks, gowns, and other equipment to generate power is causing concern. Learn about the environmental impact and the staggering amount of money wasted on faulty products and inflated prices during the pandemic. Read on to understand why this has been described as a shameful episode in the UK government's response to COVID-19.

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The UK's public spending watchdog committee is skeptical of the idea of generating electricity by burning defective facemasks, gowns, and other equipment.


According to a public spending watchdog, the British govt plans to destroy billions of pounds in useless personal protective equipment purchased during the coronavirus pandemic.

The idea of burning the gowns, facemasks, and equipment to generate power did not sit well with the watchdog council. The panel is investigating how the govt wasted £4 billion on protective equipment that had to be discarded due to flaws or failing to meet UK standards.

The environmental consequences are unknown.


The govt planned to dump of 15,000 pallets of the devices per month "via a combination of burning and recycling to generate power," according to the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament. The committee stated, "The expenses and environmental impact of disposing of excess and obsolete PPE are unknown."

Chief executive of Royal College of Nursing, Pat Cullen, accused the govt of "sending billions up in smoke."

According to an accounts committee report, the Dept of Health lost 75 percent of the £12 billion invested on PPE in the 1st year of the Covid-19 pandemic due to faulty products and inflated prices.


'Awful episode'

Meg Hillier of the opposition Labour Party presided over the committee, which she described as "probably the most shameful incident in the UK government's response to the pandemic." "The government squandered enormous sums of money in a frenzy, paying outrageously  to middlemen and for inflated prices while ignoring the most cursory due diligence,"  said she.

On Friday, govt minister Robin Walker admitted that "mistakes were made" at the start of the pandemic. He did, however, call the situation "completely unprecedented," with countries all over the world scrambling for supplies amid a health crisis.

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