What to do with face shields? Send to art crafters who upcycle

Published November 20, 2021, 9:48 AM

by Faith Argosino

•       Craft makers fashion are now in the process of upcycling face shields

•       Instead of adding to tons of garbage, those upcycled face shields are made into notebook covers, journal kits, bookmarks, specimen cards

So what do we do with the tons of face shields that have been – or will soon be – discarded because they are not mandatory to use anymore?  Will those plastic sheets and plastic earpieces add to the garbage pile and to the debris in the bodies of water?

Creative crafts that upcycle those plastic sheets are already finding their way to online shops. While the number of upcycled crafts is still miniscule compared to the quantity of face shields that have been discarded since those were made mandatory personal protective gear, the initiatives are getting attention. Who knows, it may start a gift-fad for Christmas – giving something that has not added to the tons of garbage now choking our waterways system.

Instead of throwing the face shields away, four art and environment enthusiasts shared recycling ideas to prevent pollution from these plastic gears. You may either copy these ideas or donate discarded face shields to them yourselves. 

Art journal kits

Zel, a 21-year-old Caloocan resident, and owner of small online craft store Bujo Samples, said that a friend gave her the idea of recycling used face shields for her handmade art journaling kits.

“A friend gave me the idea to recycle a used face shield, and I tried using it on my artsy thing. The result is so pretty, and I am now considering listing the items I crafted on my shop,” she said in an online interview with Manila Bulletin.

Used face shield sheets created into die-cut specimens. (Photos from Zel of Bujo Sample)


Zel created specimen cards. These die-cut specimens are decorations and designs crafters like her use for packaging orders and art journal kits. Aside from these small cards, she also plans to create bookmarks and key chains out of worn face shield sheets due to their sturdy material.

“Just to make sure, I already made a poll about their thoughts on using recycled face shields. If my customers are comfortable with this idea, I’m planning to sanitize the face shields using a clean towel, Lysol, and alcohol,” she shared.

Handmade journals

Acetate films painted with acrylic, and applied with heat embossing stamps. (Photos from Katherine of paperkath_ store)

Meanwhile, Katherine, 28, of Rizal province, shared that she plans to recycle used face shields since she has already tried using acetate films for her handmade journal designs. Acetate film is the same material used for face shield sheets.

Katherine tried several ideas to acetate films. According to her, she plans to apply these ideas to worn face shields she collected. She already created a washi sample holder, crafted the films with acrylic paint to embellish journals, and used heat embossing stamps to add elegance and texture to her art journal designs. 

Décor, bookmarks, notebook covers

Used face shield sheets repurposed into a bookmark and notebook cover. (Photo from Izabelle of Arto’sano online craft store)

Izabelle, from Caloocan, who is the owner of Arto’sano online art shop, is not new to the idea.
“For face shields that people may stop using in the future, I tried repurposing them into decorations, bookmarks, and notebook covers for notebooks I create for personal use,” she said.

Izabelle explained that she polished the notebook covers using sandpaper to achieve her preferred rough texture. She cut her desired measurement from a worn face shield for the bookmarks and added minimal designs and wax seals.

Eco-warrior

Used face shield sheet and box crafted into an organizer, face mask, or tissue holder. (Photo given by Vherns)

Vherns, a registered nurse from Rizal, calls herself an eco-warrior, who has advocated for the betterment of nature for more than a decade.

“I repurpose the face shield’s boxes as organizers and use the face shield sheets as glass on top. I also utilize the used face mask for seedlings. All materials are being washed and disinfected before I work on them,” she shared in an online interview.

According to Vherns, the boxes she crafted can be used for gift packaging, pen organizers, face mask holders, and tissue holders. The 30-year-old nurse said she has incorporated her love for arts and crafts in helping out the environment.

She plans to showcase her handmade recycled items by putting up her own Facebook page to encourage other crafters and eco-warrior like her to do the same.

More than a week ago, the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) lowered the National Capital Region’s (NCR) Alert level from 3 to 2, Manila, Muntinlupa, Cebu and Biñan were the first cities that lifted the use of face shields.

On Nov. 15, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte announced that all people living in areas under Alert levels 1 to 3 no longer need to wear face shields outside their homes. 

 
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