Engineering School spin-off partners with CTT to promote recycling of used disposable masks

TO-BE-GREEN, a spin-off of the School of Engineering, joined CTT to promote the recycling of used disposable masks, extending the useful life of these products by giving them a new life. This project aims to reduce the environmental impact associated with the use of masks for protection against the Covid-19 pandemic, usually disposed of in common garbage bins (undifferentiated waste), by processing them and creating new products, instead of sending them to landfills.

With this initiative, sponsored by the Ministry of the Environment and the Portuguese Environment Agency, the used masks are recycled and converted into resistant polymeric polypropylene plates, and that allow the use of this material for various purposes. The entire process of collecting, transporting, and processing this waste is done according to the proper safety conditions to ensure that it is not contaminated by the virus.

The first products created from the used masks come in the form of small decorations of the festive season, such as sleighs, stars, trees, and snowflakes to hang on the Christmas tree.

Besides promoting a circular economy, the initiative also has a solidary character, since the boxes, made of recycled cardboard, are produced by the Centro Juvenil de São José de Guimarães, an IPSS dedicated to the reception and social insertion of children and young people at risk of social exclusion.

Packs of four gifts are available at 50 CTT stores throughout the country and also online. For each pack sold, two euros will go to Cáritas Diocesana de Viseu.