Scrap dealers told not to recycle used masks

Scrap dealers told not to recycle used masks

Clean, new, packaged masks.
Clean, new, packaged masks.

PHETCHABUN: Municipal officials were sent onto the streets on Friday to instruct scrap collectors not to recycle medical masks, in the wake of a scandal in nearby Saraburi province, amid worries over the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

Muang Phetchabun mayor Seksan Niyompeng launched the campaign against the illegal and unsafe re-use of face masks.

It followed the arrest this week of people who illegally cleaned and resold masks in Saraburi. 

"The arrests worried people here, They are now unsure if the masks available in the province are brand-new, or not. So, we are checking scrap dealers' premises in the municipality and asking them not to gather used masks, or to destroy them," Mr Seksan said.

The municipal office also encouraged residents to destroy the masks they used, instead of putting them in the garbage, to prevent illegal recycling, he said.

On Monday police arrested a man and two women, aged 44-46, in Saraburi for allegedly gathering used masks, cleaning them in a washing machine, ironing them and selling them online.

Police said two of them were scrap dealers and the other an employee. They had sold about 84,000 used mask at 3 baht apiece over the past month.

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