A PLEA has been issued for people to wear reusable face coverings, rather than disposable ones, if socialising over the festive season.

Despite the restrictions introduced in a bid to control the spread of the Omicron variant, many people are still expected to be out and about to see loved ones, visit pubs or restaurants or go to events where face coverings are required, Zero Waste Scotland is asking them to ‘choose to reuse.’

It is estimated that around one-third of people use a disposable face covering which can’t be recycled.

Iain Gulland, chief executive of Zero Waste Scotland, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has meant that we are now getting used to living a slightly different way of life.

“One of these changes is the continued use of protective gear, specifically face coverings. It’s easy to carry a reusable face covering and using them regularly will save you money in the long run.“The littering of single-use face coverings represents our throwaway society, fuelled by our current mode of consumption. By shopping smarter, reusing more and wasting less, we can help to protect the environment.”

“Be safe and sustainable when you’re out and about this Christmas by investing in a good quality, reusable face covering and making them part of your daily routine.

“That way, you’ll be protecting yourself, your community and the planet.”

Reusable face coverings should be washed on the highest setting suitable for the fabric, preferably 60 degrees centigrade, after every use.

Shop-bought and home-made reusable face coverings, as well as other items such as snoods, can all be effectively used to slow the spread of the virus.

These should be at least two and preferably three layers thick and tight to the face.

For more information, visit http://zws.scot/FaceItPR.