Many of the extra masks ordered during the covid crisis were never used in the Swedish west coast city of Gothenburg. Now that the expiry date has passed, it has been decided that they will be burned.
The covid policy made extensive demands for masks in Sweden too, so they were used more than usual in healthcare. When the crisis subsided, they were no longer used as much. In Gothenburg, there is therefore an abundance of unused masks.
– We used to use extremely large quantities every day and now we basically don’t need them at all, says Marina Johansson (S), chair of the health and care committee to newspaper Göteborgs-Posten.
As a large number of the masks were nearing the end of their shelf life before they could be used, the city’s Elderly and Health and Care Committee decided to donate them to the Christian Doctors and Medical Students (KLM) organization, which carries out aid work in Ukraine. The decision was taken in October last year and the marked expiry dates of the masks were December 2022 and March 2023.
However, KLM was unable to accept the delivery and had to decline. A search for other possible recipients failed to find anyone who had a need for that amount of masks.
It has now been decided to burn the entire stockpile, which consists of 29 pallets weighing 150 kg each, amounting to a total of almost 4.5 tons of masks.
– We only had a few days to make this decision so we didn’t have time to come up with any creative solutions as we were in a hurry to empty the warehouse, says Johansson.
As a result of the previous mask requirements, the amount of masks thrown away in nature has also increased significantly. Already in 2021, it was found to have increased by 9000%.