The face mask has become part of our daily attire and most likely will continue to be so for some time as the main measure of protection against COVID-19. Its use has led to a considerable increase consumption and production of plastic and other materials, with a serious negative impact on the environment. The University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) has joined forces with two Basque companies to give a second life to used masks.
The University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) is aware of the problem generated by the disposal of masks. Therefore, they have decided to collaborate with a pioneering initiative for the management and recycling of masks used by the university community.
Indeed, two Basque companies (NANTEK and ORKA) have developed a method to give a second life to used surgical and FFP2-type masks, converting them into fuel and other chemical products for industrial applications. As a pilot project, containers have been placed on the Campus of Gipuzkoa to collect the masks, with the aim to subsequently extend the initiative to the other two campuses of the UPV/EHU.
This is just a simple gesture that does not involve any work; yet it can contribute to looking after our health and the health of our planet.