BC company launches Canada's first single-use mask recycling program

Feb 5 2021, 1:22 am

A BC-based company recently launched Canada’s first single-use mask and respirator end-to-end recycling program aimed at reducing the environmental impact of single-use PPE.

In a release, Vitacore Industries Inc. said the launch of the pilot program this week came in partnership with McMaster University and the University of British Columbia.

The program provides PPE recycling bins at long term care and urgent care facilities at no cost, including City Centre Urgent and Primary Care Centre in downtown Vancouver and North Vancouver Urgent and Primary Care Centre and offers the opportunity to recycle single-use face masks and CAN95 respirators.

Once collected, the single-use masks and respirators will be sterilized by Vitacore before being sent to McMaster University to be broken down and repelletized. Polypropylene, the plastic used in single-use masks and respirators, will be given a second life as construction materials to reinforce concrete or siding for buildings and reduce the amount of waste heading to landfills.

“Over 63,000 tons of Covid-19 related single-use masks and respirators will be used over the next year in Canada, significantly contributing to the pollution in our landfills and oceans,” said Vitacore President Mikhail Moore. “Vitacore is committed not only to providing the highest quality PPE to Canadians, but also to a sustainable future.”

In August 2020, Vitacore became the first Canadian company to receive Health Canada authorization to produce N95 equivalent respirators, CAN95s, on home soil.

Eric ZimmerEric Zimmer

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