Coronavirus: masks thrown on the ground, a new form of pollution?

Published by Rizhlaine F. · Published on 15 May 2020 at 18h34 · Updated on 18 May 2020 at 11h14
As France is exiting containment, it is not rare to see protective face masks thrown on the ground. A new form of pollution leading to wonder about recycling barrier masks as they are being more and more common amid the coronavirus epidemic.

How to avoid protective facemasks to become a new form of pollution? If they are more and more common, as they became mandatory in public transportation, this first deconfinement week in France, it was not rare to see barrier masks thrown on the ground. A concerning misbehavior.

Yet, the government disclosed instructions so that French citizens would know what to do: “throw away tissues, masks, gloves and cleaning wipes in a devoted and sturdy plastic bag including a handy closing system. This bag must be thoroughly closed and kept for 24 hours before being transferred to the plastic bag for household waste”.

The issue is the composition of these disposable masks make them similar to plastics. The generalization of their use leads to an increase of waste, leading to wonder about recycling them. According to France Info, this issue has been addressed in late April by the government and State Secretary for the Economy Agnès Panier-Runacher, said that if some manufacturers studied the possible process to recycle spoiled masks, channels were not organized so far. The question is being studied by a group of searchers.


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