The Sun has teamed up with Morrisons to launch Mask Force, a campaign that brings single-use facemask recycling to the masses.
Customers can find dedicated collection boxes provided by ReWorked near the entrance of 483 Morrisons stores in the UK. Click here to see a full list of participating stores.
The disposable facemasks will be recycled into sustainable building materials, children’s furniture, planters and even PPE collection bins.
Studies suggest that globally, up to 130 billion face coverings are used each month – meaning over 3 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.
‘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.’
Editor-in-chief of The Sun
The green scheme has already drawn the attention of many celebrities, including Bear Grylls, Ben Fogle, Lucie Donlan and Gaby Roslin, who can be seen on social media encouraging their followers to join the Mask Force.
The aim of the campaign is to encourage people to take action against PPE waste, and prevent plastic single-use masks from damaging already fragile ecosystems and from polluting waterways.
‘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.’
Adventurer, writer and TV presenter
Recyclers ReWorked will process this hard-to-recycle waste using its innovative approach that turns plastics that are usually considered non-recyclable into new products.
ReWorked is closing the loop on manufacturing, making new products entirely from waste materials and preventing waste plastic from entering the natural environment.
The discarded facemasks collected will become children’s furniture, shelters, planters and even more recycling bins.
‘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.’
ReWorked’s marketing manager