Wasted tax money: Thousands of unused PPE sets dumped in Hampshire’s New Forest in the U.K.
06/26/2023 // Olivia Cook // Views

Thousands of unused personal protective equipment (PPE) sets ended up being dumped in the New Forest area in the British county of Hampshire, located in South East England.

The Guardian reported on June 19 that hundreds of thousands of unused PPE were "dumped" at a nature reserve in the Calmore area, near the New Forest's Testwood Lakes Nature Reserve. The discovery came after an investigation by the New Forest District Council (NFDC) into the use of land at Little Testwood Farm Caravan Park. Images shot by a drone near the reserve showed hundreds of PPE boxes piled on top of each other.

Some locals were mystified while others were angered at the news of the PPE boxes. NFDC officials "reacted with horror" when the news was announced at a meeting of the Hampshire county council. The NFDC has asked the U.K. Environment Agency to investigate whether or not the PPE is linked to the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

According to New Forest officials, they had no idea how the boxes – some labeled "apron" and "made in China" – ended up piled on pallets. The concern is that the thousands of packs of medical aprons had been dumped on the land with no obvious signs that they were being protected or stored for some future use or any sign of intention of removal to a proper facility.

The NFDC requested that the items be removed from the land. As of writing, all the material has been packaged and slated for removal from the site. The PPE will be processed and recycled into plastic bags over the coming weeks.

Peter Latham, the chairman of the Hampshire county council's regulatory committee, said: "It was a surprise, to put it mildly – a reaction of horror – that something like that could have happened in Hampshire and nobody knew about it."


Neville Penman, a councilor for the county, said: "I'm totally amazed at how much has been dumped. I just can’t believe it because somebody must have seen it being put there, but I’ve never seen so much waste in all my life. To be honest with you, I’m distraught over it."

Not the first time the British government discarded PPE

People living near the site said they did not see the pallets being unloaded and did not know how long they had been there. One man who lives in the caravan park said he was shocked by the amount of waste.

"It's just a load of crap dumped there," said the man who did not want to be named. "Taxpayers' money just dumped there. I'm shocked."

Meanwhile, a nurse who lived nearby remarked: "I am surprised because I work as a nurse, and I know during the pandemic how we didn't have enough PPE and how difficult it was to find it. It's shocking to find out some has been dumped here."

The nurse's experience with PPE shortages was reminiscent of the time when the National Health Service (NHS) burned protective clothing worth £4 billion ($5.08 billion). The PPE was discarded due to being substandard and unusable.

A June 2022 report by the British House of Commons' Public Accounts Committee (PAC) disclosed the waste of public money. It issued a scathing condemnation of the British Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) and its strategy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Members of Parliament said the DHSC had billions of unneeded PPE – unusable gowns, goggles and gloves – that it has appointed two commercial waste firms to help it dispose of 15,000 pallets a month "via a combination of recycling and burning to generate power."

Visit Pandemic.news for more stories about PPE during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Watch this video about the second wave of PPE shortages in hospitals.

This video is from the Health Ranger Report channel on Brighteon.com.

More related stories:

U.S. once again running out of face masks as coronavirus cases surge, nursing homes most vulnerable to supply shortage.

Doctors, nurses report dire shortage of protective gear – it’s like going to war with no weapons.

Pandemic if plastic waste: Animals found entangled, dead in direct contact with single-use PPE.

Sources include:

TheGuardian.com 1

TheGuardian.com 2


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