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Recycled materials make covid-19 masks

Reverse Garbage recyclers in Marrickville handed out kits to volunteers to make 700 coronavirus masks for health professionals. Photo: supplied


Reverse Garbage, a recycling organisation in Marrickville’s Addison Road Community Centre, called on the public to make masks to donate to Westmead Hospital.

In a Facebook post on 25 March they asked “Crafters, we need you! The health professionals need face shields and have come to us for help. Along with the fabulous Husky Tape and The Foam Booth, we’re donating the resources and making kits with instructions. Can you find the time to help? All you will need is a good pair of scissors.”

Reverse Garbage are, as I like to call them, ‘material regenerators’. Businesses donate their excess materials instead of throwing them away into land fill sites, and Reverse Garbage turns this surplus material into something beautiful, to be reused and adored by families, students, artists and community groups. Heart-warming!

As for the masks: yes you guessed it, they are in fact made out of re-used materials! They combine an A4 binder clear-plastic folder cover, some double-sided tape, and upholstery foam. The finished object, resembling a welder’s mask, covers your entire face rather than just your mouth and nose, giving flimsy cloth mask manufacturers a run for their money in terms of hygiene and durability.

From 9am on Thurs 26 March, volunteers began arriving to take custody of the materials until all 35 kits – with 20 masks each kit, equating to 700 masks! – were taken. Because of the social distancing measures that Australia’s Prime Minister ‘Scomo’ Morrison has put into place, volunteers were obliged to quickly grab a kit and make the masks at home.

However, despite running out of materials, Reverse Garbage has ordered more to respond to increasing demand from other health services, which volunteers are encouraged to collect from their Addison Road site and return completed by midday on Mon 30 March.

Reverse Garbage is located at 8/142 Addison Road Marrickville. Please show our health professionals some love by heading down there and making some masks.

Instructions on constructing the mask appear on Reverse Garbage’s website: