Waterhaul is a social enterprise of Cornwall and they have started a much-needed campaign named ‘Retask the Mask’. This initiative intends to combat the adverse environmental impacts due to the irresponsible and widespread disposal of masks during this ongoing pandemic. Waterhaul had chosen 22nd April, also celebrated as Earth Day, to kick-start their campaign.
According to recent statistics, an estimated 58 million face masks get used on a daily basis all over the United Kingdom. This suggests that face masks have emerged as the largest form of plastic pollution. This is further aggravated because of the reason that masks of approximately 1.5 billion have already found their way into the oceans.
The daily usage of masks is still a prerequisite and a crucial preventive measure to reduce the spreading of the coronavirus. As a result, the number of daily usage and disposal of masks will certainly increase in number. Consequently, they are expected to have lasting damage to the environment. This has been concluded by Waterhaul.
Waterhaul Turns Masks Into Litter Pickers
The Waterhaul organization has a specialization in recycling and reusing plastic waste materials. In addition to this, Waterhaul has also started turning fishing nets collected from the water bodies into various functional products. They have already had a trial session for their ‘Restask the Mask’ project along with the Royal Hospital of Cornwall of NHS Trust.
Furthermore, Cornwall Hospital has collaborated with Waterhaul to support this campaign because the NHS will be saved. This is mainly owing to the reason that the NHS will not have to pay in order to incinerate the Covid-19 masks estimated to be £550 for each ton.
Consequently, NHS Trust decided to back Waterhaul to prevent environmental pollution of this novel kind. The plastic mask pollution problem will now be tackled by recycling them in a utilitarian manner.
Moreover, Waterhaul has vouched to pay Cornwall Hospital for each of their plastic blocks generated by them. This will be done by melting the masks down with the use of a committed on-site machine. The plastic blocks will be used by Waterhaul to create functional litter pickers.
Harry Dennis, the Waterhaul CEO, has informed, that the new wave of pollution created by PPE is a huge threat to the environment. It has been known that the litter pickers will undergo full-scale manufacturing in the UK. The manufacturing process is expected to start in May 2021.
Collaborative Environmental Work Against PPE
Dennis has further added that they are aiming to tackle the issue by changing the problem into a solution. This news of turning waste materials into positive results is indeed amazing news for the patients, staff, and visitors of Cornwall Hospital.
Waterhaul has also stated that their partnership with NHS Trust will allow them to intercept the plastic from the very source. They intend to prevent the plastic from entering the landfill and transform them into useful items.
Roz Davies, NHS Trust general manager, mentioned that their Hospital had a clear vision of building a circular economy. They have also planned on sustainably managing the increasing challenge of single-use plastic masks.
Additionally, Waterhaul is planning to make its goals more worldwide. And their ‘Retask the Mask’ project was launched to raise global awareness. They chose Earth Day in order to disseminate the extreme threat posed by single-use PPE and the probable ecological damage.
Waterhaul also has an objective to inspire environmental clean-up across the world and encourage more people to join their campaign. According to Dennis, studies revealed that spending time in nature while we try to solve the issues and protect them can potentially have positive effects on mental well-being.
Image Featured Waterhaul