Former Mohawk College student launches creative initiative to save used masks from landfills

After two years of pandemic measures, it’s sadly rare to go anywhere and not see a mask littered on the ground.

Former Mohawk College student, Verda Saqib was frustrated with the number of masks being left on campus and decided to take matters into her own hands.

Saqib submitted an idea to Mohawk College to collect students’ used masks bins and send them to a company called TerraCycle for transformation. The masks would then be used to make playground surfacing and outdoor furniture.

TerraCycle takes the masks apart and uses the different components for different waste streams.

According to an international study involving Canada published in June 2020 in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, 3 million masks per minute are tossed worldwide.

Since the start of the initiative, Mohawk College has diverted more than 260-thousand masks from landfills and the program continues.