In response to an inquiry posed by Alberta Conservative MP Earl Dreeshen, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault said that, "based on projections, it was estimated that approximately 63,000 tonnes of COVID-19 related PPE would have ended up as waste by mid-2021."
The feds were not able to provide data on the volume of medical waste that was tossed out, whether it was expired or if any of the medical waste was recycled and opposed to being land filled.
The Minister of Environment and Climate Change stated:
As of March 10, 2021, the Government of Canada had procured over 54 million face shields, 1.4 billion pairs of gloves, 142 million disposable gowns, 281 million N95 respirators, and 419 million surgical masks for front-line healthcare workers.
Based on projections, it was estimated that approximately 63,000 tonnes of COVID-19-related PPE would have ended up as waste by mid-2021. These are the most recent waste-related figures available.
In the lead-up to the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2022, Canada's strategic stockpile of medical PPE was left depleted after a supply-rotational error caused PPE to expire before use. The error was discovered when the Public Health Agency was closing a Saskatchewan warehouse as a cost-saving measure.
The Government of Canada threw out two million N95 masks and 440,000 medical gloves and had to replace them at an inflated rate as demand sent prices soaring.