Posted: 14 September, 2016
Safety Fears As Used Syringes Sent To Be Recycled Into Plastic Bottles
Workers pricked after finding up to 80 syringes a day
Pic credit: Getty Images
A union is calling for action from a South Brisbane plastics recycler, claiming workers are being put at risk as they sort syringes from recyclings.
The Electrical Trades Union says sorting workers could end up injured of infected by the platic vials - often still with needles attached - which have been turning up at OI Glass via household recycling bins.
Workers claim up to 80 syringes a day are being found. They say they're often broken up in the glass fragments being recycled into milk bottles, drink containers and road base.
Union organiser Garry Rogers has raised the workers concerns', after some receieved skin pricks..
“OI Glass Management have been unable to introduce processes to effectively remove these syringes and medical waste from the supply chain since they bought a new supplier seven months ago,”
“Incredibly, some of the medical waste items contain identifiable patient details – putting the privacy of members of the public at risk as well.”
"I mean, how can this happen,..It really is beyond my belief."
OI Glass has been quoted saying the problem has gotten worse in the past 12 months... but was only made public by the workers recently.
"What we are seeing recently - and Queensland has some of the highest rates - is an increasing number of people putting used syringes into their recycling,"
"What we are finding is that people are not necessarily doing the right thing and bad things are going into recycling bins,"