Masks, gloves … The new plastic epidemic

The number of masks and gloves thrown into the public space are designed to protect us from the health crisis and contribute to another epidemic: plastic pollution. France has just doubled the fine, from € 68 to € 135, for anyone who throws a mask in the wild, probably a consequence of underwater images of surgical masks and latex gloves found at the bottom of the Mediterranean. How does the new pollution contain? Can we make disposable masks reusable?

What to do with “Covid-19 waste”? In China, in the Wuhan region, the coronavirus pandemic episode, the volume of medical waste was multiplied by six at the height of the health crisis. In France, they have almost doubled … However, if the waste of individuals begins to pollute the public space, the vast majority are produced in hospitals and end up in incinerators.

In Belgium, a company has developed a technology to decontaminate waste and convert it into recyclable material. Today, disposable masks can be treated with dry heat, making them reusable up to four times. A technology that has already attracted attention from companies outside healthcare institutions.