More than 500,000 face masks were removed from Scotland’s national PPE stockpile after passing their expiry date, ministers have said.
The Scottish Government said all the FFP3 masks were from the pre-coronavirus stockpile and improved versions have been introduced.
Additionally, 87,912 litres of hand sanitiser was removed from the stockpile due to expired shelf life.
The details were part of a written answer to a question at Holyrood by Scottish Labour MSP Katy Clark.
The written answer from health secretary Humza Yousaf, said a total of 509,890 individual FFP3 masks had been removed.
It said: “It is important to note that all of the listed FFP3 masks are from the original, pre Covid-19, pandemic stockpile.
“Healthcare staff who were fitted to these have been migrated to the improved versions of the masks.
“Additionally, all of the listed masks will be used as part of a new recycling programme being undertaken by a Scottish company.
“Of the hand sanitiser listed, 21,000 litres will be re-worked as part of a recycling programme involving a Scottish third sector supplier.”
Clark said: “This is an utterly shocking waste of vital personal protective equipment that should have been used to help keep safe frontline, key workers, and the public against Covid.
“The virus remains a threat to public health, and for ministers to have presided over such a wanton waste of precious resources, which are part of Scotland’s defence against Covid, is a complete disgrace.
“The health secretary must provide Parliament with an urgent explanation about how this gross mismanagement came about.”