Coronavirus: Final chance for Hong Kong people to register for free government face mask

  • The reusable face coverings could have a hugely positive impact on the environment
  • The beige masks were mocked on social media for looking like underpants
Wong Tsui-kai |

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You’ve got less than a week to register for your free, reusable mask. Photo: SCMP / May Tse

Registration for the government-issued CuMask+, a reusable face mask, will end on June 6.

The Innovation and Technology Bureau reminded all Hong Kong residents to register. “Online registration for the CuMask+™ is quick and convenient. On average, citizens will receive masks delivered at [their] door one week after registration. “ a spokesman said.

While the mask has been mocked for looking like underwear, more than 3.75 million people have registered for one, slightly more than half of Hong Kong’s total population. The government says the masks can be used and washed up to 60 times, and that the copper used in the mask material provides anti-microbial properties.

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The potential environmental benefit is huge. According to an estimate by the Environment Bureau, around 4 to 6 million masks might be used by the city’s residents every day. This adds up to 10 to 15 tonnes of waste. A total of 11,400 tonnes of waste is disposed of daily at Hong Kong’s landfills. Using the reusable masks instead of disposable ones could cut up to 900 tonnes of waste.

Once online registration ends, there will also be the option for in-person collection, for HKID card holders. Details are still to be announced .