Ways to sustainably navigate your brand through COVID-19 - Reusable Face Masks

With Winter fast approaching and restrictions getting tightened across the UK and Europe, it looks like COVID-19 will be with us for the foreseeable future.

Unfortunately, as a result of our response in trying to control the spread of the virus, the world has seen the use of disposable single-use face masks surge. This inevitably leads to them being irresponsibly discarded...

Branded Reusable Face Masks
Ways to sustainably navigate your brand through COVID-19 - Reusable Face Masks

What's the issue with disposable PPE?

Cornwall based environmental charity Surfers Against Sewage, who campaign against plastic pollution and to protect oceans, waves, beaches and marine life have encouraged its followers to post photos on their social media channels asking people “Which beaches have you seen PPE pollution on?” Using the hashtag #PlasticPollutionPandemic to highlight the prevalence of this new sort of plastic pollution. 

It’s not just beaches and seas that are being affected though. Volunteers across the UK have seen a "massive" rise in the amount of littering on high streets, canals and rivers, according to Friends of the Earth. A Sky News article published in August 2020 states, “An estimated 194 billion disposable masks and gloves are being used worldwide every month as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a study in Environmental Science and Technology.

Most single use PPE is made from a variety of plastics, including polypropylene, polyethylene and vinyl. Disposable plastic masks that end up at sea could take up to 450 years to fully decompose and leave the marine ecosystem, according to Waste Free Oceans, which says it collects and recycles marine litter by collaborating with fishermen and businesses.

Even when disposed of correctly, it is claimed PPE cannot be recycled, as it is considered medical waste. It ends up either in landfill, or being incinerated, which can lead to toxic fumes and contributes to climate change.

Use reusable face coverings where you can

On 8 July 2020, Oxford University’s Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science, published a study, with the message: “Cloth face coverings, even homemade masks made of the correct material, are effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19 – for the wearer and those around them” and warned “face masks and coverings work – act now”.

So, not only are reusable cloth masks proven to be effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19. They are better for our wider environment by helping to reduce the amount of plastic waste we produce and then discard or ultimately have to incinerate. They can also work out cheaper than providing single use masks for your entire workforce. The cloth face mask also offers up lots of potential for brands to be seen in a positive way in our post lockdown world. 

So, as a responsible brand you can encourage sustainability and safety with the use of cloth face masks.

How can we help?

We have a selection of reusable face masks that can be branded with your company details or even individually personalised to your employees initials! Take a look at our range below, or learn about how to use face coverings effectively with your brand in our blog.

Get in touch to discuss your requirements by sending an email to [email protected], or simply give us a ring on 0345 634 2935.