Covid recycling: turning the tide on single-use facemasks

Disturbed by all the extra plastic waste generated during the pandemic, Cornish ocean plastic entrepreneurs, Waterhaul, have turned their attention to recycling single-use Covid facemasks. And what better to make from the reclaimed plastic than litter pickers?

In just over a month since it launched on Earth Day, 22 April, Waterhaul’s Kickstarter campaign generated an astonishing £35,347 from 1,270 backers. This will enable them to transform 115,380 single-use Covid facemasks into litter pickers.

All the plastic for the litter pickers will be sourced from The Royal Cornwall Hospital, where used masks are heated to 170°C in a special machine onsite. This both sterilises the material and melts it down. At Waterhaul’s factory in Newquay the resulting blocks of plastic, each composed of around 6,000 masks, are shredded and turned into granules. These are then remelted and injection moulded to form parts for litter pickers, which the team assemble by hand.

Waterhaul are offering to either repair or recycle broken litter pickers, making this a completely closed loop system.

We love the way they have taken a problem and turned it into a creative solution to tackle it twice over. Well done Waterhaul, excellent work. Go to top of the GoReusable.Org class!

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We’re dedicated to reducing reliance on single use drinking vessels with our ‘Plant One Tree’ branded cups and drinking bottles. Our aim is to #plant1milliontrees..