The disposable facemasks will be recycled into sustainable building materials, children’s furniture, planters & even PPE collection bins.
The Sun has teamed up with Morrisons to launch a Mask Force campaign, bringing single-use facemask recycling to the masses. The service is available in 483 Morrisons stores in the UK – Customers can find the dedicated collection boxes provided by ReWorked near the entrance of Morrisons stores* from the 10th of June.
Studies suggest up to 130 billion face coverings are used each month globally**, meaning over three million face masks are thrown away every minute. With researchers now predicting there are more disposable masks in our oceans than jellyfish, pollution has clearly been an unexpected side effect of the pandemic.
Victoria Newton, editor-in-chief of The Sun, said: “We’ve launched Mask Force to help Sun readers be a part of the clean-up of single-use masks and help stop the damage they are causing to the environment. Masks are still absolutely necessary to help control the spread of coronavirus, and we encourage people to keep wearing them, but we are seeing a worrying rise in recyclable masks and PPE being dumped and ending up on our great British beaches and in rural areas, destroying the landscape as well as hurting wildlife.”
The green scheme has already drawn the attention of many celebrities, including Bear Grylls, Ben Fogle, Lucie Donlan & Gaby Roslin, who can be seen on social media encouraging their followers to join the Mask Force!
Bear Grylls said: “Single-use masks are one of the biggest litter problems we have right now, with 100 million masks being thrown away each week. The ones that end up on the floor or in our ocean can damage our amazing wildlife and planet, which is incredibly sad. The Sun’s Mask Force campaign with Morrison’s is a great way to make sure we turn the things that protect those around us into something useful at the end of their life.”
The campaign aims to encourage people to take action against PPE waste, preventing plastic single-use masks from damaging already fragile ecosystems and from polluting waterways.
Recyclers ReWorked will process this hard-to-recycle waste, using their innovative practices for plastics usually considered non-recyclable. They recycle waste and reintroduce it into the supply chain as new products.
They are closing the loop on manufacturing, making new products entirely from waste materials, preventing waste plastic from entering the natural environment. The discarded facemasks collected will become children’s furniture, shelters, planters & even more recycling bins.
Izzie Glazzard, ReWorked Marketing Manager, said, “The sheer amount of PPE waste ending up in the environment will undeniably harm our native wildlife and sealife. Providing accessible recycling solutions within Morrisons for this new waste stream will prevent some of this plastic from polluting further.”