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Reducing waste is a core outcome we aspire for, as the only way to handle the burgeoning waste of our cities. As we strive to stay safe during the time of COVID, we are strongly urging residents to stay safe but not at the cost of the planet. The simple call-to-action is: SWITCH TO REUSABLE CLOTH MASKS. 

Our new campaign encourages residents to shift not just to cloth masks, but upcycled cloth masks that combine the angle of sustainability and reduced carbon footprints. Read more about it and encourage your contacts to participate. A bit of background first on why we feel this is a critical issue before we share details of our ZeroWasteMasks campaign.

The Disaster Of Disposable Masks

Indiscriminate use of disposable masks is leading to a range of problems for cities and is the newest environmental disaster the planet is dealing with. For our city, some of the problems are: a huge increase in litter which could lead to blocked drains and flooding during the rains, needless volumes of waste accumulating for disposal and even worse, improper disposal that increases health risks for cleaners and sorters. Disposable masks are also being reused well beyond the recommended 6 hours – often even for weeks by those unaware of the facts – some are washing them as well, rendering them ineffective. The result: people are wearing masks that do not provide the intended protection, increasing health risks for all. It is important to realize that continued use of disposable masks is a danger to us and the ecosystem.

The resources below are useful to understand the issue better. Do use these to create more awareness among your contacts, so that we can together reduce the burden created by disposable masks.

  • Video by Dr Devi Shetty, renowned surgeon, confirming that cloth masks provide adequate protection for regular preventive use, and surgical masks are needed only for specific circumstances/categories.

Video Credit: Times of India Mask India Campaign (used with permission)

Video by health workers sharing the problems they face when disposable masks are used in excess and disposed incorrectly.

Video Credit: The Quint (used with permission)

In the event that disposable masks are used by exception, the recommended disposal is in Reject waste, not in Dry waste – more details in the posters below.

Here’s how you can join the #ZeroWasteMasks campaign and move to upcycled cloth masks. It’s time to set a precedent for other fellow citizens to follow.

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