Recycle your used face masks in Kimberley and Giltbrook stores

Shoppers in Kimberley and Giltbrook can now drop off used, disposable face masks to be recycled.

Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 9:46 am
Updated Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 9:55 am
Wilkos stores in Kimberley and Giltbrook are part of the mask recycling scheme. Photo: Wilko

The new in-store scheme is being launched by Wilko for customers to drop off used masks so that they can be recycled and reused as everything from building materials to new furniture for communities in need.

The Kimberley and Giltbrook stores are among 150 of the home and garden retailer’s stores nationwide that will have special collection bins for customers to safely drop off their used single use face masks, after shopping for essential items in-store.

This scheme is initially a pilot and will run for three months from April 1.

Face masks are currently mandatory in shops nationwide.

The Covid-19 crisis has seen a huge increase in the use of disposable face masks as the nation adapts its everyday behaviour around public safety guidelines.

Jerome Saint-Marc, Wilko chief executive, said: “One of our core values is to show we care and, we understand the importance of climate change to our customers who expect us to take-action on their behalf and make better choices about caring for the environment.

“That’s why we’re thrilled to have developed this scheme, which makes it super simple for shoppers to safely recycle a product which is often unavoidably discarded as a result of us all taking steps to protect the health of everyone around us.

"What’s more, it also means we’re able to help hardworking families, local communities and other businesses by turning something that we’re simply throwing away into a useful and sustainable product that can have a positive impact.”

While the government has encouraged Brits to dispose of face masks via general waste bins, there has been an ever-increasing volume of PPE being discarded in public spaces – meaning there are often greater levels of litter nationwide in areas such as parks, beaches and high streets.

Collected masks are shredded down into raw materials, which can be sustainably refashioned into products ranging from other safety materials for businesses, to building materials and even quality, durable public space furniture.