VITACORE LAUNCHES CANADA’S FIRST RECYCLING PROGRAM FOR SINGLE-USE MASKS AND RESPIRATORS
The end-to-end pilot program aims to reduce the pollution in Canada’s landfills and create a more sustainable future
– In partnership with McMaster University and the University of British Columbia, Vitacore Industries Inc. is launching Canada’s first single-use mask and respirator end-to-end recycling program aimed at reducing the environmental impact of single-use PPE
. The pilot program officially launched across Metro Vancouver on February 1st providing PPE recycling bins at Long Term Care and Urgent Care Facilities at no cost including City Centre Urgent and Primary Care Centre in downtown Vancouver and North Vancouver Urgent and Primary Care Centre. This program provides front-line workers with the opportunity to recycle their single-use face masks and CAN95 respirators and will be expanded to include bins across the country.
Once collected, the single-use masks and respirators will be sterilized by Vitacore before being sent to McMaster University to be broken down, repalletized and given a second life. Polypropylene, the plastic used in single-use masks and respirators, can be manufactured into construction materials used to reinforced concrete or siding for buildings, reducing the amount of waste heading to landfills. Furthermore, to expand the possible uses for the repalletized materials, ongoing research is still being conducted by McMaster University.
According to Vitacore president Mikhail Moore, “Over 63,000 tons of Covid-19 related single-use masks and respirators will be used over the next year in Canada, significantly contributing to the pollution in our landfills and oceans. Vitacore is committed to not only providing the highest quality PPE to Canadians, but also to a sustainable future”.
“From product conception to point of use and disposal, we are developing a blueprint for maximizing sustainability in the life cycle of polyolefin based PPE products.” Says Yang Fei, Director of Research and Development at Vitacore.
Vitacore was created in Canada, by Canadian innovators to support Canadian healthcare professionals during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. In August 2020 Vitacore became the first Canadian company to receive Health Canada authorization to produce N95 equivalent respirators, CAN95s, on home soil. Helmed by local business leaders, the privately-held company has quickly grown to a team of over 75 employees including engineers and medical professionals at its state of the art facility in Burnaby, BC.
"Environmental sustainability is one of the thematic pillars for research at McMaster's Centre of Excellence in Protective Equipment and Materials (CEPEM). This project illustrates the innovative approaches the centre is taking, along with its partners, to advance long-term sustainable use of PPEs by the public and healthcare workers," says Ravi Selvaganapathy, CEPEM's director and Canada Research Chair in Biomicrofluidics. This month, CEPEM received $1.2M in funding
from the Government of Ontario to expand its testing infrastructure and partnerships with Canadian companies, such as Vitacore.
For more information on Vitacore and the PPE recycling program, please contact us .