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UK plans to burn billions in wasted pandemic protective gear

PPE medical equipment.jpeg
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee said the government planned to dispose of 15,000 pallets a month of the gear “via a combination of recycling and burning to generate power.”

The British government plans to burn billions in pounds (dollars) in unusable personal protective equipment purchased in haste during the COVID pandemic, a public spending watchdog said Friday.

Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee said the government planned to dispose of 15,000 pallets a month of the gear “via a combination of recycling and burning to generate power.”

The panel is investigating how the government came to spend 4 billion pounds ($5 billion) on protective gear that has to be dumped because it is defective or does not meet U.K. standards.

The committee says overall the government lost 75% of the 12 billion pounds it spent on PPE in the first year of the pandemic to inflated prices and faulty kits. It says the saga is "the most shameful episode in the U.K. government response to the pandemic.”

It also notes that “the costs and environmental impact" of burning the equipment is unclear.

The government says some of the excess stock would be repurposed for use by dentists or donated to charities, transport agencies and other countries.

Click here to read more of this article from the Associated Press.