A Health Canada approved N95-equivalent respirator manufacturer, located in South Surrey, has launched a recycling campaign for used surgical masks.
Eternity Medical Equipment contacted Peace Arch News this week to raise awareness about its new effort to divert personal protective equipment away from the landfill.
“According to the federal government, approximately 63,000 tonnes of COVID-19 related PPE could end up as waste,” a news release said. “Recognizing this environmental impact, Surrey-based start-up Eternity Medical Equipment has partnered with Ontario’s LifeCycle Revive to help reclaim and recycle respirators and masks to create a sustainable self-sustaining PPE supply chain.”
Eternity Medical is to set up a collection box at its headquarters, located at 19099 25 Ave., 103. The box will accept all N95-equivalent respirators and surgical masks. Once the box is filled, the masks will be shipped to LifeCycle.
Most N95-equivalent masks, including Eternity’s ECAN95, are made of polypropylene, which is a non-woven textile.
Using recycled polypropylene masks, LifeCycle launched a spun-bound non-woven textile line that will be used in Canadian-made PPE, such as disposable isolation gowns and injection-molded items used in healthcare, the release said.
“There is so much needless waste created, and much of the problem is the bureaucracy behind it all,” LifeCycle partner Andy Straisfeld said in a release. “There is a lot of potential with recycling and repurposing PPE. It’s a circular economy. We’ve been actively trying to recruit Canadian companies who make PPE to our cause, and that’s how we found Eternity.”
Eternity CEO Jeffrey Wang said they have been looking for a recycling solution for some time.
“Hopefully, this is just the beginning of even more opportunities to reclaim and recycle PPE, taking them away from landfills. It’s a cross-Canada effort,” Wang said.