When using adults and kids disposable face masks, it can be rather depressing just throwing them away with your regular garbage and wondering how many are going into landfills and marine environments.
Not only are these discarded masks harmful to animal life, but their plastic makeup means that they will not break down quickly and could take up to 450 years to biodegrade. In the meantime, they will release microplastics into the environment, causing additional harm to animals and humans.
The good news is that there are now various ways to deal with all these used masks in a more eco-friendly manner. Read on to learn more about recycling initiatives for adults and kids disposable face masks across New Zealand.
Manufacturer Recycling Initiatives
Mask manufacturers are coming to the recycling party and setting up recycling programmes for used kids disposable face masks. They are partnering with plastic recycling companies to help reduce the number of masks in landfills and waterways.
Some are offering customers a free courier bag that has been pre-paid and labelled. Customers can discard around 100 of their used disposable into this bag. Filled bags can then either be dropped off at designated collection points or collected by a courier in collaboration with local recycling companies.
Other companies have set up collection bins in stores for this same purpose. Or are offering a pre-paid collection bin option, whereby the community becomes responsible for the cost of recycling the masks.
How Are Kids Disposable Masks Recycled?
After collection masks are taken to a plastics recycling facility, where they are quarantined for at least 72 hours. After this, they will be washed and shredded into small chips. These chips are then moulded into blended plastic pellets, which are UV stabilised.
These plastic pellets can then be used to make new items such as packaging containers, benches, picket fences, decking and farm posts. This gives the recycled kids disposable face masks a new purpose in life, and the components do not end up in landfills and waterways.
Contact MEO today if you would like to join our mask recycling programme. We will assist with collecting adults and kids disposable face masks for recycling. We realise that we cannot solve this major issue by ourselves. Still, we will raise awareness domestically and create a snowball effect so the government and other enterprises join us on this journey to reduce our environmental impact.