Ever since people around the world started wearing masks as a necessity amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the painful reminder of this exercise started appearing all around streets, beaches, and oceans. At the rate we are going through them, this usage has become almost a greater concern than other plastic wastes since there are no guidelines for mask recycling yet.
At times like this, environmentally friendly solutions to these fastly developing problems are needed. In one prime example, a new initiative by designer Marianne De Groot of the Dutch design firm Pons Ontwerp has come up with a biodegradable mask called Marie Bee Bloom, per Fast Company.
Everything about it is biodegradable
The biodegradable face mask idea was conceived after the designer started noticing the countless face masks crumpled on the side of the streets, buried in garbage piles, and caught on tree branches.
It's completely unique -- the face mask is made from layers of rice paper that can be buried in the ground once you're done wearing it. Moreover, the masks are filled with a mix of Dutch meadow flower seeds that can sprout and bloom under the right conditions.
It is completely environmentally friendly: The ear loops are made from simple spun wool which you can adjust to fit your face thanks to a cord fastener which is just a tiny flower punched out of an egg carton. Even the glue that's used to hold the mask together is made from potato starch.
While the mask holds many promises in recyclability and compostability, it's better to be on the safe side, and not rely on this mask to ensure protection against the coronavirus variants. It is reported that the Marie Bee Bloom masks haven't been tested for protection factors; however, they still symbolize what every industry should reconsider before making its products to ensure a sustainable future.