"Thus, what was once trash, with no value, can be converted into a product in the form of plastic seeds or pellets," Researcher from LIPI's Clean Technology Research (LPTB) Akbar Hanif Dawam Abdullah told ANTARA here on Saturday.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Abdullah noted that the use of medical masks increased significantly, both by the public and health service facilities, in order to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
Abdullah cautioned that in the event of improper handling, the medical mask waste will negatively impact the environment.
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In order to prevent the waste from becoming detrimental to the environment, he opined that medicinal mask waste can be processed using extrusion technology.
He explained that single-use medical masks are made of plastic or polypropylene that can be turned into plastic pellets.
The researcher explained that plastic pellets can be produced by heating medical mask waste at a certain temperature.
"These plastic pellets have commercial value because these plastic pellets are used as raw material for the plastic industry," Abdullah noted.
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Abdullah stated that these plastic pellets can then be processed into economically valuable products, such as pots, trash containers, and buckets.
In addition to LIPI, the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) has developed several technologies to process and recycle medical waste produced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to agency's chairman, Laksana Tri Handoko, one of these technologies is a small-scale mobile medical waste processor.
The small-scale mobile waste processor can be used in residential areas with small populations and low volumes of waste.
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