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Pandemic pushes Recycling Industries to innovate in the face of COVID-19 waste

Posted By : Abhijeet Singh   |   Date : Jun 10 2021 11:15 AM

Pandemic pushes Recycling Industries to innovate in the face of COVID-19 waste

One of the most dumped waste during Pandemic is face masks. It is estimated that around 129 billion masks are being used on a global scale every month. Thus, it is high time to innovate to limit the waste masks count. 

Being heavily utilized to spread and protect from COVID-19, the used masks are giving way to a new form of the pandemic, plastic pollution.

To tackle the problem, a team of Australian researchers is working to transform single-use COVID-19 masks into raw materials that can be utilized in road construction. In the U.S., all the protective equipment used in the protection from COVID-19 is being recycled into benches.

Used masks are commonly tossed away in trash cans, bound for landfills, or incinerated. They are made of polypropylene plastic material, elastic, and metal. They are also streets, rivers, and oceans that damage wildlife.

According to OceansAsia, at least a billion masks found have made their way into the world's oceans last year, resulting in an additional thousand tons of marine plastic waste.

However, researchers and businesses are searching for ways to bring masks to good use, even though it is not a particularly lucrative endeavour at the moment.

Several hospitals in the United Kingdom have purchased a compactor manufactured by the Thermal Compaction Group of Cardiff, which melts protective gowns and surgical masks into blue slabs. The material is then used for making chairs or tables in the garden.

In France, the recycling firm Tri-o et Greenwishes collects masks thrown in special containers for about 30 customers, including hospitals in Paris, a TF1 network, and the Saint-Gobain giant building equipment.

Considering the efforts to mitigate the COVID waste, happening on a global level, it is certain that we would soon be able to divert a significant percentage of the waste towards productive purposes.

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