Since the outbreak of Covid19, the world has been combatting the virus with the most widespread use of PPE the world has ever seen and this has proved effective. However, there is environmental damage caused by the PPE that has been incorrectly disposed of or has escaped into the environment due to insufficient waste management capabilities.
To limit waste or personal expense, many people are now using 'reusable' masks or even reusing singleuse (disposable) masks, but these practices are known to be unhygienic and are probably aiding the spread of the virus. Therefore, until the threat of the virus is nullified, disposable 3-ply masks are the only item of facial PPE proven to significantly reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus and help end this global crisis.
To address the environmental impact of disposable masks, British based Mask Bros has developed and launched the world's first fully recyclable face mask and accompanying national mask recycling service. Unlike conventional masks, the EcoBreathe mask is made entirely from one type of material and therefore does not require costly disassembly in the recycling process. EcoBreathe can simply be disposed of through consumers' curbside recycling programs. For consumers whose local authority doesn't offer plastic film recycling, Mask Bros include a prepaid return shipping label with every order free of charge.
Consumers simply collect their masks in the resealable plastic bag, place them back in their box, and post them to Mask Bros after a 72-hour quarantine period. Mask Bros then collects and processes them at their warehouse, before shipping them in bulk to one of their recycling partners. Mask Bros was established in May 2020 by two University of St Andrew’s graduates to provide low cost PPE after founding a charity to help tens of thousands of vulnerable people receive vital food supplies during lockdown. After supplying the British people with over 5.2m masks in the past 3 months and raising awareness of price gouging, Freddie and Cogan have worked hard to develop this game changing mask and return service, to encourage the continued use of safe and proven PPE while reducing the impact on the environment.
Quotes: Introducing EcoBreathe by Mask Bros - The World's First Fully Recyclable Mask
“When we started Mask Bros, our goal was to make high-quality masks affordable to everyone, but we didn't want to stop there. After two months of research and development, we're proud to introduce EcoBreathe: our patent-pending, fully recyclable disposable mask. Made with non-woven, high-density 2 polypropylene and manufactured to the same gold standard as our 3 ply masks, you can now reduce your environmental impact without compromising your safety.”
How big is the environmental threat? “The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) estimates that 10 million single-use masks will pollute our oceans each month if just 1% of masks are disposed of incorrectly. UCL estimates that an additional 66,000 tonnes of plastic waste is added into the household waste stream in the UK alone. That's an increase of 1.4% household plastic waste nationally.”
Why not use a reusable cloth mask? “The trouble is that a mask’s efficacy is directly tied to its disposability. Reusable masks, for instance, become and remain contaminated, often transforming into vehicles for viral transmission themselves.”
What’s different about EcoBreathe? “Using patent-pending materials and manufacturing processes, EcoBreathe has been designed to meet and exceed the quality and effectiveness standards of its non-recyclable counterparts.”
How Do I Recycle EcoBreathe? “Most local councils will accept EcoBreathe (plastic film recycling symbol #5) through their curb-side recycling programs. Alternatively, we include a prepaid return shipping label with every order. Simply collect your masks in the resealable plastic bag, place them back in their box, and post them to us after a72-hourr quarantine period. We will then collect and process them at our warehouse, before shipping them in bulk to one of our recycling partners in the UK.”