Posted in | News | Renewable Energy | Recycling

Student Initiative Saves Over 30 Tonnes of Face Mask Waste From Entering Landfill

Mask Bros’ co-founders, Frederik Filz and Cogan Wade, the student pioneers who exposed price-gouging by major British high-street stores in 2020, are pleased to announce that they have now supplied 25 million of their fully recyclable medical masks to businesses and consumers and has consequently saved over 30 tonnes of mask waste from going to landfill. Their EcoBreathe masks are made from 100% polypropylene and provided with access to a unique national postal recycling service, so they can be easily recycled back into the circular economy.

Launched by Mask Bros in September 2020, EcoBreathe is challenging the mask landscape by directly combining the provision of medical masks with a unique postal recycling service.  This allows its users to benefit from the best possible protection from Covid-19 and other airborne threats, while also minimising their environmental impact.  Every box of masks includes a prepaid return label, so consumers can simply collect their masks in the included resealable bag, place them back in their box and then post them to Mask Bros after a 72-hour quarantine period.  Mask Bros then processes the masks at their warehouse before sending them to one of their UK-based recycling partners.

Frederik, co-founder of Mask Bros and software engineering student at Oxford University, said: “I am delighted that we have crossed this important milestone of preventing over 30 tonnes of waste from needlessly contributing to landfill, which is still today a major sustainability problem.  This important milestone of 25million masks provided to businesses and consumers demonstrates that the best possible protection can be provided at a low cost and with minimal impact on the environment. Our focus now is encouraging our customers to return their masks to maximise the level of recycling.”

When the pandemic hit Europe in 2020, Frederik and his sister, Irina, started Students Against Corona to bring together students worldwide to help deliver groceries and essential medication to elderly and vulnerable people.  To date, their initiative has served nearly 200,000 people and organised more than 3,000 volunteers in over 20 countries.  They then established Mask Bros to provide much needed PPE to British consumers who were being charged excessive prices by high street stores.

Cogan Wade, co-founder of Mask Bros and a graduate of Marine Corps Officer Candidate School, said: “It has been an incredibly challenging and interesting journey. Our aim is to continue to push the message that wearing medical masks in areas of air pollution or high-risk to diseases must be tempered with negating the environmental impact of its use. Our research shows that people plan to continue wearing face masks well after the pandemic has ended, so we must all do what we can to ensure that this new behaviour does not create unnecessary landfill waste.  Even in the most challenging of circumstances, we must do all we can to protect the environment.”

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