Wilko launched an in-store mask recycling scheme and is extending it until April.

The scheme gives customers the opportunity to take used, disposable face masks into Wilko stores to be recycled and it will continue until Saturday April 2, 2022.

It will be available in 149 participating stores nationwide, including stores in Barking and Dagenham for the first time.

The home and garden retailer estimates that 400,000 face masks could be recycled through the scheme, equating to 966kg of single-use plastic.

If you wish to recycle your masks, you’ll need to visit a participating Wilko store and put your used single-use face masks into the collection bin.

Isle of Wight County Press: One of Wilko's face mask collection bins (Wilko)One of Wilko's face mask collection bins (Wilko)

Recycling specialists ReWorked will take the bins away when they are full.

Metrisk Ltd, Scan2Recycle and ReWorked have partnered with Wilko in the scheme.

The collected masks are broken down into raw fibres which can be sustainably refashioned into products including safety materials for businesses, building materials and durable public space furniture.

Wilko is still recommending staff and customers wear face coverings in busy indoor spaces despite them no longer being a legal requirement.

The retailer seeks to respect individual choices while it provides a sustainable way to dispose of single-use masks.

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Wilko’s Face Mask Recycling Scheme won a silver award in the Best Environmental and Sustainability Campaign category of the Corporate Engagement Awards.

Jerome Saint Marc, CEO at Wilko, said: “We know that our customers care about the environment and this scheme has proved again to us just how much.

"We’re so delighted that it’s been this much of a success and that our customers and team members are helping to reduce litter in their communities, our partners are helping to recycle the waste and that we’re able to bring it all together in our stores.

"It’s a little win that truly makes a world of difference.”

Wilko hopes to make a difference to the environment in other ways too.

It has pledged to reach Net Zero Carbon by 2040 by signing the BRC’s Climate Action Roadmap and has joined The UK Plastics Pact, which focuses on reducing the use of single-use plastic.

The retailer joined the UK Plastics Pact in 2020 and since then it has removed 1,200 tons of single-use plastic.

You can find more information about the scheme and a full list of participating stores via the retailer’s website here.