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Company recycles thousands of used face masks into 43,000 phone chargers. It's just getting started.

Taiwan-based eco-friendly company Miniwiz is building a circular economy for face masks using innovative artificial intelligence.

Company recycles thousands of used face masks into 43,000 phone chargers. It's just getting started.
Image Source: miniwiz.official / Facebook

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, Taiwan News reports.


Miniwiz founder Arthur Huang said in an interview with the news outlet, "Every three minutes we can make a charger out of face masks that can reduce waste. Transforming local waste into a valuable product is the ultimate goal." The collaboration was introduced as a way to celebrate Fubon Financial Holding's 60th anniversary. According to Chairman Daniel Tsai, the firm began to notice medical waste had quickly become a huge issue worldwide. In particular, surgical and face masks posed a new problem that our supply chains are presently unequipped to deal with effectively. The companies' collaboration is a potential solution that could be expanded globally.


By incorporating innovative technologies developed by Miniwiz, Fubon Financial Holding was able to set up recycling spots in their office buildings. These hubs allowed the firm to collect used face masks. The masks were then converted into colorful phone chargers as an anniversary gift for the company's employees. Due to the success of this collaboration, Tsai stated he hoped the exercise would teach the public about sustainability and how it benefits the environment. In addition to this, he expressed his interest in raising awareness about the utilization of electricity when using the innovative charging products.


To make the circular economy possible, Miniwiz developed an AI recycling system called "ROBIN" as well as a "mini TRASHPRESSO." The process was automated primarily due to the pandemic. Huang pointed to movies like "Wall-E" for successfully mainstreaming ideas about automation and artificial intelligence. He stated, "The image of a robot with big eyes collecting trash and remaking it into something useful is a big deal for every engineer." Thereafter, Miniwiz was able to collect the used face masks and convert them into wireless phone chargers.


It comes as no surprise that the firm was able to accomplish such a feat. Miniwiz has already won international acclaim for its recycled and upcycled products, and the company's founder Huang was featured in the documentary "Going Circular." The 2018 documentary reveals the secrets to economic circularity, an innovative concept that could save our collective future on Earth. As per Huang, if people continue to overconsume natural resources and produce too much waste, a dystopia would not be too far away.


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