Around 250,000 disposable face-masks recycled in Tallinn initiative

A face mask hung on a Christmas tree in Tallinn, Christmas 2020.
A face mask hung on a Christmas tree in Tallinn, Christmas 2020. Source: Karin Koppel / ERR

Around a quarter-of-a-million disposed medical masks have been collected under a recycling scheme in Tallinn, in the five months of the project's operation.

Ester Öpik, coordinator of Tallinn coronavirus prevention measures, said: "We have seen in all locations of the collection bins that people eagerly dispose of face masks in the collection bins and that the bins do not contain much other waste."

"I am pleased to see that in schools especially, the use of the mask bins has been enthusiastic and effective. Although relatively small amounts of masks are accumulating in schools, the mask collection bins there really only contain disposed masks," Öpik continued.

The collection bins total over 100 and are situated in busier, public spaces, sports centers, educational institutions, youth centers, social centers, vaccination points, polling stations and health care facilities, as well as in the city administration offices.

The collected masks are recycled and become raw material for new plastic products, BNS reports.

Tallinn zoo and also the botanical gardens proved popular with those disposing of used masks during the summer, as did polling stations at the October 19 local elections.

The bins are put in place and retrieved and emptied by Hyperon OÜ, which has carried out around 200 collection runs bringing in, as noted, 250,000 disposed masks.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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