Doctor wearing face mask and visor.

A Welsh business is using thermal heating devices to melt personal protective equipment (PPE) so it can be recycled rather than thrown away.

Based in Cardiff, Thermal Compaction Group is working with hospital trusts to turn single-use masks, gowns and curtains into polypropylene blocks which can be used to make products such as plastic chairs, buckets and toolboxes, reports the BBC.

Describing the initiative as a great example of the circular economy, Dr Rob Elias of Bangor University’s Biocomposites Centre says that polypropylene in a mask can be recycled up to six times before it breaks down.