The Department of Health and Human Services have announced that essential workers will need over 3.5 billion disposable face masks over the course 2020. Considering the lifespan of a disposable face mask is recommended to be just once, we need to learn how to properly dispose of face masks, considering that it will inevitably have a huge impact on landfill.
Whilst there are alternatives to disposable masks, there are many reasons why disposable masks are needed for both public and professionals. First of all, many professions require disposable medical face masks due to the ease and accessibility of them. They also offer some of the best protection against COVID-19, with something like a N95 mask filtering out a whopping 95% of all particles.
The general public may also require them for everyday use but it is recommended that they are left for medical professionals. Bearing all this in mind and considering the velocity in which they are being used, how should we dispose of them properly to reduce impact on the environment?
Here’s some tips for disposing antiviral face masks properly in 2020:
All disposable masks worn should be treated as medical waste. Before disposal, take the mask off correctly, following these guidelines.
Lastly, follow these 5 simple rules from Recycle Coach to be safe:
- Don’t throw your face mask in public areas or in bins without sealing the mask first (a plastic slip will work).
- Don’t throw your face mask in your open waste bin at home.
- If you’re an essential worker, make sure you put your mask in a sealable medical waste bin.
- If you’re at home make sure your mask goes in a sealed bin or closed bag.
- Ensure that you tie up your garbage tightly to keep the masks safely inside.
However, there is an alternative for throwing out your face masks in the rubbish: TerraCycle make safety equipment and protective gear zero waste boxes, which allow you to recycle all your disposals and make them into something new. More info here. Disposing of your face mask properly is vital for your personal eco footprint and reduction of the spread. If done properly, we can help reduce the environmental impact disposable masks have.
If you're looking for an alternative, check out our Hemp and Cloth Mask range, with FREE same day shipping.