Wilko launches face mask recycling scheme
Home and garden retailer wilko has announced the launch of a face mask recycling scheme in 150 of its stores across the country.
The recycling scheme, which is the first of its kind on the UK high street, will run for three months and allow customers to bring their old face masks to collection bins located at the front of the stores from 1 April.
Jerome Saint Marc, CEO at Wilko, said: "We're thrilled to partner with ReWorked to be the first on the high street to take positive action, recycling discarded face masks on behalf of our customers.
"The scheme is super simple for shoppers to safely recycle a product which is often unavoidably discarded as a result of us all taking steps to protect the health of everyone around us.
“What's more, it also means we're able to help hardworking families, local communities and other businesses by turning something that we're simply throwing away into a useful and sustainable product that can have a genuinely positive impact."
As part of the scheme, Wilko has teamed up with Yorkshire-based recycling partners ReWorked.
ReWorked will process the recycled face masks after a minimum 72-hour quarantine period, before the recyclate is washed, shredded and mixed with other waste plastic.
The shredded plastic mixture is then heated to 200 degrees Celsius or hotter and pressed into durable boards, which go on to become building materials, furniture, or bins to collect more waste plastic.
Izzie Glazzard, Marketing Manager at ReWorked, said, "It's brilliant to be working with wilko to tackle such an important and current issue. Their drive to provide this innovative service to their customers has been admirable.
“The scheme tackles a waste issue nobody had even considered until recently. Initiatives like these can drastically reduce the amount of harmful plastic waste entering our streets, parks and oceans, affecting the health of our planet."