In response to the significant numbers of single-use face masks being disposed of during the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers at RMIT University in Australia have come up with an ingenious way of recycling them.
Scientists at the University have discovered how to turn these masks into roads by mixing them with recycled concrete aggregate, also known as processed building rubble. One study suggests that just 1km of road could use around 3 million face masks, which would prevent around 98 tonnes of waste from reaching landfill and oceans.
So far researchers have only used clean face masks, but are working on a sterilisation method so that discarded masks can be used. While the research is still in its early stages, the hope is that the use of recycled materials in this way will contribute to a circular economy and make use of the enormous amount of waste.
To find out more about this research fighting COVID waste, click here.