Climate Action Group Project Aims to Improve Mask Disposal
Face masks are an important component of infection control during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the prevalence of face masks has resulted in a great amount of improperly discarded masks around Boston, including on and near the BU Medical Campus.
To combat this issue of improper face mask disposal, the Climate Action Group has developed a mask disposal solution in conjunction with BMC/BUMC Facilities, Graduate Medical Sciences, the School of Public Health, and the Medical School in order to reduce face mask litter.
“We want to encourage people to wear masks, and hopefully they are reusable masks up to CDC standard, which offer the most protection,” said Raissa Zuim Dantas de Souza, GMSSO President and Climate Action Group student leader. “We want people to understand the impact that a simple mask disposal can have on a larger scale. The reduction of waste disposal is essential for sustainability and a cleaner environment.”
The leadership team on this project is quite interscholastic, composed of a medical student (Punit Matta), two SPH students (Andrew Dey and Samantha Hall), and Raissa from Graduate Medical Sciences.
We want people to understand the impact that a simple mask disposal can have on a larger scale.
Currently, the group is working on creating educational material to display on the sides of BigBelly compactors on the Medical Campus, calling attention to this issue of mask litter. The group is analyzing where people are disposing of the most waste, and will explore the possibility of moving existing bins to new locations to improve mask disposal.