A surge in the utilization of face masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment, including single use packaged products, such as plastic bottles and takeout containers had overwhelmed with waste local Filipino communities and to a significant extent health care facilities.
Foreseeing a steep increase in waste generation, hospital administrator Sister Arcelita Sarñillo showed leadership at St. Paul’s Hospital in Iloilo (SPHI) by asking its Linen Department to conduct research and develop reusable PPE to adequately protect frontline workers without creating significant amounts of waste.
Rather than use incinerators to burn PPE, the hospital introduced procedures, such as waste segregation and the use of autoclaves to disinfect infectious waste and to reduce its environmental footprint.
As a result of the project, St. Paul’s Hospital in Iloilo has successfully protected their front line health workers without having to create significant waste in the process. Furthermore, the use of washable PPEs to protect the health of their staff and the planet resulted in savings of 64,150,000.00 Philippine Pesos (1.3 million US Dollars) over eight months.