It’s rare to see a health professional without a face mask these days. In the last couple of years, the amount of waste produced from the care and health industries has increased dramatically.. The CO2 footprint associated with the healthcare system is now responsible for 7% of the total CO2 emissions in the Netherlands. 80% of these emissions can be attributed to medical waste and there is more demand than ever for single-use medical products.
Let's start a pilot!
One product that is used widely in the medical industry, for example in dental practices, is single-use face masks. Unfortunately most of these masks are thrown away after one use and incinerated. However, the materials in the masks are valuable and can be reused to make new products! That’s why together with GreenCycl, Hofmeester Dental, and Michiel Lieshout from Dentiva we have set up a pilot for dentists in Amsterdam, Amstelveen and Haarlem to collect and save facemasks !
If you’re a dentist in another city and you would like to join in with this pilot, give us a shout by signing up for our waiting list! Once we know that there is enough interest in a particular city then we’ll get to work, no time to waste!
Why save facemasks?
Facemasks are made from PP (polypropylene), a material that is great for recycling but not so great in the bin ! In the last two years the number of facemasks in circulation has exploded and continues to grow.
That’s why we are trialling collecting these masks and making new products, giving the PP materials a second-life.
What happens to my facemasks?
GreenCycl together with Sustainable Surgery have researched and come up with a new sustainable way to recycle facemasks.
Firstly the masks are melted in a specially-built machine and broken down into plastic blocks. These blocks are granulated into grains, small plastic bead-like pieces. From these grains new products can be made giving the facemasks a well-deserved second life !