Wilko has extended its instore face mask recycling scheme in an effort to allow shoppers to drop off used, disposable face masks to be recycled.
The extended scheme will take place until the end of the year thanks to the scheme proving successful with customers.
This further extension of the scheme, following an initial three-month pilot in April, sees the service remain in place at the retailer’s original 150 participating stores.
Wilko said it expects 400,000 masks to be recycled via the scheme, which equates to 966kg of single use plastic.
Customers who want to participate can visit their nearest, participating Wilko store as part of their usual shopping trip and drop their used single use face masks into the special collection bin.
Once full, these bins are then taken away by recycling specialists ReWorked.
Masks collected via the scheme are broken down into raw fibres which can be sustainably refashioned into products ranging from other safety materials for businesses, to building materials and even quality, durable public space furniture.
The Covid-19 crisis overall has seen a huge increase in the use of disposable face masks.
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, impacting the life and leisure time of local communities, endangering wildlife, and ultimately harming the health of the planet.
“We know that our customers care about the environment and this scheme has proved again to us just how much,” Wilko chief executive, Jerome Saint Marc said.
“We’re so delighted that it’s been this much of a success and that our customers and team members are helping to reduce litter in their communities, our partners are helping to recycle the waste and that we’re able to bring it all together in our stores.
“It’s a little win that truly makes a world of difference.”