It is the educational corporation of the CPC Biobío, which signed an agreement to recycle the masks used by the students of its five technical high schools located in Concepción, Tomé and Coronel.

The agreement was signed at the Federico Schwager Industrial High School in the town of Coronel, which will allow an increasing supply of face masks as the number of students increases. Ricardo Gouët, president of the board of the Corporación de Estudio, Capacitación y Empleo de la CPC Biobío, explained that “actions like this, which supports the circular economy training of our students, further strengthen the virtuous relationship of our high schools with the regional productive sector for the benefit of those who are at the center of our work: the students and young people, who are the future of society”.

Consolidated experience

The experience is a national pioneer and coordinates the efforts of the Ministries of the Environment and Science, the Fishing Industry Association (ASIPES) and the Universidad de Concepción, through its Technological Development Unit (UDT). The latter will remove three-fold and N95 type masks collected in the establishments to add them to those collected from the fishing companies and transform them into trays, coasters, flower pots, pencil holders, among other utensils.

The initiative arose from the Biobío Covid Social Roundtable and initially aimed to recycle the more than 20,000 surgical masks used each week in the fishing plants. In one year of operation, around 500 kilos have been recycled, equivalent to 100,000 units of these sanitary elements that practically do not degrade and are becoming a severe environmental problem.

In this sense, the president of the Fishing Industry Association (ASIPES), Macarena Cepeda, pointed out that “the masks have become a threat to the sea and that motivated us to join this associative effort. To date, it is a consolidated program in Industrial Fishing, present in seven plants, and we are happy that it will grow and include future generations”.

The executive director of the Technological Development Unit (UDT), Álex Berg, highlighted the successful results of the project and said that now is the time to expand it, “and we think it is very important to incorporate students so that they can learn about it, adopt it and spread it. All new technologies depend not only on technical aspects, but also on people’s willingness to participate”.

The agreement will also allow the technology center to support the training of students from the five high schools through visits and technical talks, as sanitary conditions permit.

For Esteban Crisosto, director of Liceo Industrial Federico Schwager, this agreement is important because “always when we worked on environmental issues we were left truncated somewhere; but in this case we are going to take a waste and really obtain a product that will be reused and thus be able to finish the cycle”.

Source: Aquaculture World