MIAMI (CBSMiami) — It seems like the more you see masks on people’s faces, the more you also see them littering streets and sidewalks, even beaches. With so many people wearing masks, that’s adding up to a lot of excess waste, but one company is working to change that.

Olivier Civil is co-founder of Plaxtil.

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“We said to ourselves, these masks mustn’t end up either in the wild or burned. We can recycle them; we can make something out of this material,” Civil said.

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Plaxtil was initially set up to turn textiles into plastic. But since mid-June, it has recovered and up-cycled thousands of face masks. After the metal nose band is removed, the material is ready to use.

“The masks were already quarantined before the treatment,” Civil explains. “And then during the treatment they pass through a powerful ultraviolet light to disinfect the material completely.”

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It is then pressed into plastic and molded into new types of protective equipment, from visors to attachments to hold masks in place. It’s a green solution for those blue masks, while the world battles the coronavirus.