79. New challenges, and opportunities

The coronavirus pandemic has brought about the extended use of different kinds of disposable facemasks, anywhere except the UK, where the government is suggesting the use of face coverings which, as the WHO tells us, do not protect the wearers or those around them. So, facemasks are helping us control the pandemic, but they are giving us a new problem, we are now adding these products, in large quantities, to the waste that we already generate and we don’t know what to do with. The problem should not be exaggerated, after a few quick calculations I have concluded that facemasks add around 2% to the volume of waste generated in my household, but still, it is significant. Facemasks seem eminently recyclable, which would not only prevent additional waste, but further agricultural exploitation to produce the materials. They have become an everyday product overnight and we must use them sustainably. A recycling process with a high recovery yield should appear soon, or does it exist already?

Length: 1,000 words 

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