Have you wondered what will become of all those face masks?
Around 6.8 billion disposable face masks being used across the globe each day, that’s a lot of landfill.
A team of researchers from RMIT’s School of Engineering decided to come up with a solution to this growing waste problem.
An experimental study published in the journal of Science of the Total Environment found that face masks can be recycled to make roads. The research team developed a material that can be used for base layers of roads and pavements made from shredded face masks and processed building rubble.
A one kilometre stretch of a two-lane road would use approximately 3 million masks and divert 93 tonnes of waste from landfill.
“This initial study looked at the feasibility of recycling single-use face masks into roads and we were thrilled to find it not only works, but also delivers real engineering benefits,” Dr Mohammad Saberian said.
The RMIT research team may have come up with the perfect recipe to tackle both waste streams using a mixture of 1 per cent shredded face masks and 99 per cent RCA. This ratio creates a strong yet flexible product, meaning it won’t crack under the pressure of heavy trucks, that holds up when tested for stress, acid and water resistance and meets civil engineering safety standards.
After the success of their pilot study, the researchers are now looking at the possibility of creating a concrete aggregate with face masks.
Head here to read the RMIT study in full.
Much of the above content was taken from the Planet Ark web page who uses freely available information to form their articles but takes no responsibility for the accuracy of the original source of the content