This is according to a survey of all the states published by German daily Welt. Thus, 6,1 million masks were destroyed in Baden-Württemberg, 5,5 million in Saxony, five million in North Rhine-Westphalia and 656 000 in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
Eleven federal states reported that they had not disposed of any Corona masks so far, but some were planning to do so.
Thuringia could not provide any information on the type of recycling. The Federal Ministry of Health in Berlin has also “energetically recycled” masks in recent months. The number of masks recycled so far is “less than one million”, a spokesperson said.
Several state ministries want to have more masks destroyed in the future. So far, however, they can only burn masks that they have purchased themselves. For masks purchased by the federal government and distributed to the states, they need the consent of the federal government.
According to a report by Der Spiegel, around 730 million surgical masks and 60 million FFP2 or similar half masks are affected because they are past their expiry date.
Taking no responsibility
The Federal Court of Auditors has accused ex-Health Minister Jens Spahn for the “massive over-procurement” of masks. In addition, quality defects have been found in around 20 percent of the masks procured since March 2020. They were also blocked for delivery and are now to be “disposed of thermally“.
In September, Spahn published a book in which he acknowledged many mistakes in dealing with the pandemic. His book is entitled “We will have to forgive each other a lot”. It is based on a phrase he used in April 2020 in the Bundestag to promote “understanding” for his controversial choices. After the end of his ministerial term in December 2021, Spahn no longer publicly commented on Corona policy.