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Protecting Us & The Environment

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Protecting Us & The Environment

While masks and respirators have been effective means of protecting others and reducing the spread of Covid-19, their use comes at a cost. The environmental impact that masks and other PPEs have created is a serious problem.

Studies estimate that if everyone in the UK wore a single-use mask every day for one year, it would create 66 000 tonnes of unrecyclable plastic. Expanding that number to North America, we would generate close to 360 000 tonnes of unrecyclable plastic a year! Masks are not the only issue. A standard box of nitrile gloves has the CO2 equivalent of driving 20 miles in a petrol car.

While canaPHEM is proud to support the fight against Covid-19 and provide our community with PPE solutions, we realize the environmental impact our products create. This is why we are SO proud to be working with Vitacore!

Vitacore Industries is a Medical Equipment Manufacturer based in Burnaby, BC, specializing in masks, respirators, gowns, and various PPE products. For just over a month, canaPHEM has been a proud distributor of its products.

Recently, Vitacore has created Canada’s First PPE Recycling Program. This program involves collecting used masks in marked Vitacore collection containers where they are transported to a sorting facility to be processed and pelletized into reusable materials. This program will dramatically reduce the PPE ecological footprint in BC and sets the standard for PPE manufacturers and suppliers in Canada and beyond.

Ontario is also starting to see some efforts put forth into PPE recycling efforts. In February of this year, McMaster’s Centre of Excellence in Protective Equipment and Materials (CEPEM) was granted $1.2 million in funding towards long-term sustainability PPE solutions and infrastructure. We hope these efforts will gain awareness and funding over the upcoming months to create a more sustainable and eco-friendly PPE disposal system.

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