QR Code made from used face masks direct scans to COVID-19 information

HSBC Philippines
QR Code face masks
Filipino youth made use of discarded face masks to form a QR code on the beach to direct people to COVID-19 updates while sending an environmental message. All photos from Rizza Mae Hibaya.

A QR Code made by students from used face masks is directing scans to COVID-19 information while emphasizing proper waste management.

The students led by 21-year-old Rizza Mae Hibaya banded together to form the giant QR code on a beach in Zamboanga to raise their environmental message amid the pandemic.

Hibaya and her friends from Dipolog City collected the used masks from their own homes and followed proper disinfection measures prior to the activity.

The Filipino youth opted to make use of the discarded face masks for the QR code campaign to stress the impact of waste management.

The group then teamed up with QRTiger, a QR code generator company, to convert photos of the campaign into codes people could scan with their smartphone.

The photos of the formed QR code made on Tag-ulo beach on July 1, 2020, were then used for posters disseminated to locals. Citizens are able to scan the QR code which directs them to the Department of Health’s (DOH) website where COVID-19 tallies and other information pertinent to proper medical waste management are regularly posted.

Rizza Mae Hibaya and her friends creating the QR Code on Tag-ulo beach.
Rizza Mae Hibaya and her friends creating the QR Code on Tag-ulo beach.

When Hibaya and her friends posted the QR code photos to neighboring areas in the community, the posters of the QR code campaign started a discussion with curious locals, prompting many to learn more about COVID-19, as well as eco-friendly and safe waste disposal for face masks.

Rizza Mae Hibaya championed the use of QR code technology to lessen contact risk for COVID-19. “When you think of QR codes during this pandemic, it’s an excellent way to promote “touchless” interaction. As someone who grew up with tech, we thought QR codes could be an unconventional method that would grab the attention of many,” she said in an interview with Good News Pilipinas.

She also remarked that technology is exceptionally popular nowadays, with uses such as contact tracing and as an alternative to physical menus in restaurants.

Hibaya hopes to inspire fellow youth with her project. She believes that young individuals can make a difference by taking action for the environment.

She advocates for proper waste disposal to promote less pollution in our oceans. She also stressed its role in climate change:

“We are in a health crisis in 2020, but forgetting that non-biodegradable materials could accelerate climate change could in fact lead to more pandemics post-COVID. We need to take a stand for our future. Climate change won’t care if you’re young or old. Everyone is affected,” Hibaya said.

Top view of QR Code made on the Zamboanga beach.
Top view of QR Code made on the Zamboanga beach.

Initiatives have been started to promote sustainability and eco-friendly practices amid the ongoing pandemic.

You can find a list of proudly Philippine-made, eco-friendly face masks here.

These alcohol refilling stations in Metro Manila bolster the zero waste initiative and provide easier disinfection access for Filipinos. You can find them here.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to students led by Rizza Mae Hibaya for creating the QR Code made from used face masks to direct scans to COVID-19 information while raising awareness about proper waste management.

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Margo Hannah De Guzman Quadra
Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.