Phone chargers made of recycled surgical masks at Songshan Cultural Creative Park Photograph:( Twitter )
The coronavirus pandemic is adding a new unwelcome element to pollution in the form of facemasks as are being feverishly snapped up by people
To achieve the goal of a circular economy, Taiwan's Fubon Financial Holding Co. and Miniwiz are transforming recycled face masks into phone chargers.
The coronavirus pandemic is adding a new unwelcome element to pollution in the form of facemasks that are being feverishly snapped up by people.
"During the pandemic, the most throwaway products are single-use masks," explained co-founder and CEO of Miniwiz Arthur Huang.
''So we came up with the idea of something that people actually need to use recently, especially during the pandemic.''
Recycling spots were set up at Fubon's office buildings to collect unwanted face masks. For this purpose, Miniwiz's innovative technology was used.
Fubon Financial Holding Chairman Daniel Tsai said they converted them into colorful phone chargers as an anniversary gift for employees.
Highlighting the significance of sustainability, Tsai said he hopes the exercise will benefit the environment.
“Every three minutes we can make a charger out of face masks that can reduce waste,” said Huang.
“Transforming local waste into a valuable product is the ultimate goal.”
It comes after a report by the World Health Organization warned that discarded syringes, used test kits and old vaccine bottles from the COVID-19 pandemic have piled up to create tens of thousands of tonnes of medical waste, threatening human health and the environment.
"We found that COVID-19 has increased healthcare waste loads in facilities to up to 10 times," Maggie Montgomery, a WHO technical officer, told Geneva-based journalists.
It called for reform and investment including through the reduction in the use of packaging that has caused a rush for plastic and the use of protective gear made from reusable and recyclable materials.
(With inputs from agencies)