Wilko in-store facemask recycling scheme extended

Since its launch in April, the wilko #ReclaimTheMask scheme has seen thousands of facemasks recycled. With estimates predicting a whopping 400k could be reclaimed by the time the project ends.

 

wilko facemask recycling scheme reworked #reclaimthemask ppe

 

The scheme encouraging customers to recycle their masks has proved incredibly successful, with the 150 participating wilko stores up and down the country now extending the offering until the end of September. Shoppers can drop off their used single-use masks in the dedicated collection boxes in the participating wilko stores across the UK.

Once full, the boxes go to innovative recyclers, ReWorked, who, together with Scan2Recycle, are partnered with wilko on the scheme.

 

ppe recycling box reworked wilko

 

Disposable masks are made primarily from polypropylene plastic; the additional metal nose clips & elastic ears make them a complicated item to recycle.

The PPE waste is quarantined for 72 hours before being sterilised & shredded. The shredded facemasks go to the board mill, where they are heated to 200C+ and pressed into solid sheets of recycled plastic.

These 100% recycled plastic boards are used as building materials, made into shelters, and some even become children’s furniture and donated to schools across the UK.

 

 

Izzie Glazzard, Marketing Manager at ReWorked, said: “Schemes like #ReclaimTheMask are integral to prevent PPE waste from damaging our already fragile ecosystems further. We’re able to take this hard-to-recycle plastic and completely divert it from becoming pollution, landfills & incineration.”

Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, PPE pollution has become more and more of an unexpected side effect for our planet to deal with. An estimated 8M tonnes of general plastic waste already ended up in the world’s oceans every year. And now, non-profit organisation Opération Mer Propre estimates there are more masks in the sea than jellyfish.

Jerome Saint-Marc, CEO at wilko, said: “We know that our customers care about the environment, and this scheme has proved again to us just how much. We’re so delighted that it’s been such a success and that our customers and team members are helping to reduce litter in their communities, our partners are helping to recycle the waste and that we’re able to bring it all together in our stores. It’s a little win that truly makes a world of difference.”

For more information on disposable mask recycling at wilko and the 150 stores taking part, please visit https://www.wilko.com/face-mask-recycling.