Wong Kam-sing says reusable masks could reduce waste

Local | 20 May 2020 4:47 pm

Secretary for the Environment, Wong Kam-sing, said at the Legislative Council today the government hopes to reduce waste by distributing reusable face masks to the public for free.

Wong said according to government estimates, about four to six million single-use face masks are disposed every day, which is equivalent to about 10 to 15 tons, or one-thousandth of the amount of municipal solid waste at landfills. He said surgical masks are not suitable for recycling as the materials are mainly nonwoven fabric.

Liberal Party lawmaker, Felix Chung Kwok-pan, asked whether the government will set up special rubbish bins for collecting disposed face masks to protect front line cleaners.

Wong said all government buildings have rubbish bins with lids for people to dispose face masks and he believes that it can reduce health risks to cleaners.

He also said he is aware that many people went hiking in countryside during the epidemic, and that the government will step up inspections and promotions to urge people to take away trash.

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