In an effort to increase the diversion of disposable masks from landfills, the province has launched an initiative with American recycling operation TerraCycle to recycle disposable masks from 15 locations at Manitoba provincial parks.
Provincial parks have experienced an increase in attendance during the past year and this trend is expected to continue. With the encouragement of mask use, Manitoba’s parks may see an increase in discarded masks.
Disposable masks will be collected using TerraCycle’s Disposable Masks Zero Waste Boxes. Once the boxes are filled, the masks will be shipped to a TerraCycle sorting facility in Ontario and broken down into component materials. Metal from the masks is repurposed into new metal sheeting while the polypropylene-dominant mixture is converted into a raw material used in plastic lumber and composite decking applications. The elastic portion is ground into a fine mesh and mixed with recycled plastics as an additive to provide flexibility to other products.
TerraCycle’s Zero Waste Boxes are being distributed to:
• Cedar Bog trailhead, campground office and west beach shelter in Birds Hill Provincial Park;
• Spirit Sands trailhead and campground office in Spruce Woods Provincial Park;
• campground office in Winnipeg Beach Provincial Park;
• Pioneer Beach in Clearwater Provincial Park;
• Pinawa Dam Provincial Heritage Park;
• Blue trailhead and campground office in St. Malo Provincial Park;
• Grand Beach town site and campground office in Grand Beach Provincial Park; and
• Falcon Beach town site, Falcon Lake Beach campground office and West Hawk Lake campground office in Whiteshell Provincial Park.
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