We spoke to Lottie Dalziel, founder of Banish, to find out how to dispose them and more.
- Can I put single-use masks in the recycling bin?
No you can't, these are classified as medical waste so sadly have to go in your general waste bin.
- Should I put them in a sealed bag before putting in the bin?
Technically speaking you don't need to put any rubbish in a sealed bag before throwing it in your general waste bin (you can even use a reusable liner like this one). Just make sure your old masks won't fly out when the bin is being emptied into the truck
- Do I need to snip the straps before throwing in the bin?
I would recommend it, this is because on the off chance that they someone end up in our oceans it means they won't get caught around any animals.
- Why are single-use masks bad for the environment?
Like anything we want to be consuming less, they cannot be kerbside recycled, only recycled by specialised services like TerraCycle so sadly the majority of these end up in landfill. I understand that for medical reasons people need to use single-use masks which is why it is so important that they make it into a bin! I walk down my street (in Sydney) and every time count at least five masks that have been littered on the ground, if not picked up they will end up in our drains and oceans! They are the new cigarette butts!
- What are some alternatives to single-use masks?
Reusable masks are a great option, plus they come in lots of fun colours! I recommend these ones that are handmade in Australia from organic cotton.