Johannplasto Turns Disposable Face Masks Into Tools – NowThis

Watch how this man takes discarded face masks and recycles them into screwdriver sets.

Johannplasto is a plastic recycling workspace that is turning used, disposable face masks into screwdriver sets. It was founded by Thomas Peterberns in 2021, when the mechanical engineer learned just how difficult it was to recycle plastics—especially with the increased amount of PPE waste created during the COVID-19 pandemic. So Peterberns made it his mission to recycle polypropylene surgical masks.

Each one-of-a-kind screwdriver set produced by Johannplasto includes a case with assorted bits, as well as a screwdriver. The set requires 100 masks to make. The company has set a goal to recycle 1,000 masks each month.

To create these screwdriver sets, Peterberns receives 50-200 masks per week from a local school. The masks are received at Johannplasto’s collection point a minimum of 10 days after use. This allows enough time for any COVID-19 viruses that might have been on the masks to die. Next, the masks are sorted and separated. Only 100% polypropylene masks are used. The masks are then washed and line dried. The bands from the side of the mask and the wire from the nose are removed. A mold is then placed under an injection machine in which the washed masks are folded and inserted. The injection machine is heated to 180 degrees and the melted plastic masks are pushed out and injected into the mold. The mold is set aside to cool down before being demolded. Next, the screwdriver handle is created using the same process but with a different mold containing a metal shaft for the screwdriving bits. Once that molded plastic cools, the bits and sockets are inserted into the case—and you’ve got a screwdriver set ready to be used!

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