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Eastman Kodak recycles used hand sanitizer from the pandemic

Good use of outdated hand sanitizer

The state of New York has agreed to assist Eastman Kodak in disposing of a large quantity of out-of-date hand sanitizers.

In the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, prison inmates manufactured the product. During his time as governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo set up the program to boost the state’s limited supply.

NYS Clean hand sanitiser was produced and distributed at no charge to consumers.  However, due to massive overproduction, much of it is now past its sell-by date.

The effectiveness of sanitizers tends to diminish over time because some of the alcohol evaporates.

To meet fire code requirements, hand sanitizer must be stored outdoors because it is highly flammable. An airfield in New York State has been housing 700,000 gallons of the product under tarpaulins for months. It occupies 4,000 pallets, which are longer than three football fields. Officials have been experiencing major headaches because of it.

Eastman Kodak has agreed to transport the 168 trailer loads of sanitizer to the Eastman Business Park in Rochester, where it will be distilled to extract the isopropyl alcohol for reuse in manufacturing. The entire procedure is expected to take about ten months.

Eastman Kodak is said to have received $1.4 million from New York State for the isopropyl alcohol used in the production of NYS Clean hand sanitizer. It must now pay the same company $2.3 million to get rid of it.

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