Tallinn sets up collection bins for used masks

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A hundred bins will be placed across Tallinn to collect used medical masks. Source: Tallinn City Government.

A hundred collection bins will be installed across Tallinn for collecting disposable face masks to reduce the number discarded as plastic waste.

Mask collection bins will be located in vaccination centers, health care institutions, social welfare institutions, sports and cultural institutions, city service institutions and museums near major entrances and exits, and in autumn collection boxes will also be placed in schools.

Tallinn has initially planned to keep the 100 collection bins for masks in public space and to direct the masks for recycling until the end of the year.

Further action depends on the recurrence of the virus and the obligation to wear a mask during the autumn-winter season.

"We want to provide an opportunity to recycle used masks so that they do not simply go to mixed municipal waste or pollute the public space. A special collection bin with according labeling encourages people to throw the mask in the right place," said Ester Öpik, coronavirus adviser of the Tallinn City Government.

"The collected masks are recycled and used as raw materials for new plastic products such as pipes."

Tallinn wants to raise awareness of environmental protection and encourage people to utilize the new solutions. It hopes to set an example in mobilizing and implementing the principles of the circular economy.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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