First high street recycling scheme for face masks launched

Wilko launched the UK’s first face mask recycling program. The disposable face covers are said to be recycled into sustainable building materials, furniture and even PPE collection bins.

A sustainable recycling program for single-use face masks is to be introduced in 150 Wilko branches across the country. Customers who do their important purchases can bring their used disposable masks with them and place them safely in the collection bins in front of the shops.

An increase in single-use PPE waste due to the pandemic has been a major issue, with severe environmental impact from discarded masks becoming an unforeseen side effect of Covid-19.

An estimated 129 billion face masks are used worldwide each month. To reduce the damage caused, the home and garden retailer has teamed up Revised and Scan2Recycle – Launch of an innovative program to recycle disposable face masks called #ReclaimTheMask.

Jerome Saint Marc, CEO of Wilko, said, “To show that we care not just about Wilko, but one of our core values. We are excited to partner with ReWorked to be the first on the high street to achieve positive results.” Action, recycling of discarded face masks on behalf of our customers.

“The system is very easy for shoppers to safely recycle a product that is often inevitably thrown away because we are all taking steps to protect the health of everyone around us. In addition, we can help hardworking families, local communities and others Business by turning something we just throw away into a useful, sustainable product that can really make a difference. “

Research has shown that there are now more disposable face masks than jellyfish in the world’s oceans. There is no doubt that providing a safe place to dispose and recycle masks has a positive impact on the environment.

The face mask material, made primarily from PP (polypropylene, a type of plastic), is sent to Yorkshire-based recycling partner ReWorked for processing. After a quarantine period of at least 72 hours, the PPE is washed and cut into 5mm pieces before being mixed with other plastic waste according to a specific recipe.

The crushed plastic mixture is heated to over 200 ° C and pressed into durable sheets. The boards are turning into building materials, furniture, and even bins to collect more plastic waste.

Izzie Glazzard, Marketing Manager at ReWorked, said, “It is great to work with Wilko to address such an important and timely problem. Your drive to provide this innovative service to our customers has been admirable.

The program addresses a waste problem that until recently had not been considered. Initiatives like this can drastically reduce the amount of harmful plastic waste entering our streets, parks and oceans, and affect the health of our planet. “

The first campaign on Hauptstrasse will start on April 1st in 150 participating Wilko branches and will run for three months.

Find out if you have a participating store near you – https://www.wilko.com/face-mask-recycling

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