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We use 6.8 billion face masks a day. Researchers want to turn them into roads

Fast Company – And the roads could be even stronger than traditional roads, according to new research in the journal ‘Science of the Total Environment: “The disposable masks you see every day have to go somewhere. Many, if not most, end up in a landfill. Researchers have developed a new material that turns all those masks into roads. According to a new study in the journal Science of the Total Environment, researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, have developed a new material that integrates shredded single-use face masks with recycled concrete aggregate (RCA), a substance made of waste materials from demolished buildings, such as concrete chunks, that are crushed up and repurposed. The new material not only gives new life to some of the 6.8 billion face masks the researchers estimate are used globally each day; it could actually make roads stronger, according to the study. Single-use face masks generate significant waste. In a July report, the UN called the influx of single-use masks a “toxic problem” and estimated that 75% of used masks and other pandemic-related waste will end up in landfills or floating in the oceans…”

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