One Taiwan-based eco-friendly company is building a circular economy for face masks using innovative artificial intelligence, and so far turning mountains of discarded masks into 43,000 wireless chargers for mobile phones.
Taiwan’s Fubon and Miniwiz turn surgical masks into phone chargers
Repurposing what others throw out is an effective way to reduce waste and promote eco-friendly practices. A Taiwan-based company, Miniwiz, in collaboration with Taiwan’s Fubon Financial Holding Co., has figured out a way to make phone chargers out of recycled surgical masks. As part of Fubon Financial Holding’s 60th anniversary celebrations, it teamed up with Taiwan’s Miniwiz, an eco-friendly company that upcycles waste into construction and consumer products. On this occasion, it is making phone chargers out of recycled face masks, Taiwan News reported.
Miniwiz set up mask recycling spots at Fubon’s office buildings
Fubon Financial Holding Chairman Daniel Tsai (蔡明忠) said the company noticed that medical waste has become a huge problem worldwide. He pointed to surgical and face masks, in particular.
With innovative technologies developed by Miniwiz, they set up recycling spots at Fubon’s office buildings to collect unwanted face masks. They then converted them into colorful phone chargers as an anniversary gift for employees.
Tsai said he hopes the exercise will teach the public about sustainability and how it benefits the environment. He also wants to raise awareness of electricity utilisation through using the charging products.
Transforming local waste into a valuable product is the ultimate goal
Miniwiz has won international acclaim for its recycled and upcycled products. The company founder Arthur Huang (黃謙智) was also featured in the documentary, "Going Circular."
“Every three minutes we can make a charger out of face masks that can reduce waste,” said Huang. “Transforming local waste into a valuable product is the ultimate goal.”
Because of the pandemic, the fabrication process has become more automated using an AI recycling system called "ROBIN" and a "mini TRASHPRESSO." The entrepreneur referenced the Disney animation “WALL-E” as an example, “The image of a robot with big eyes collecting trash and remaking it into something useful is a big deal for every engineer.”
Huang said that if people continue to overconsume natural resources and produce too much waste, a dystopia is not far away.
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