The NHS uses 26 million three-ply masks each week. That means 26 million face masks are going to landfill every week, not to mention the millions more worn by the public. This represents a threat to the environment at a time when brands are increasingly stepping up to fight climate change.
The world's first 100% compostable three-ply face mask has been created by a British firm, Henosis. The masks are made of plant-based materials instead of plastic and reportedly take just 12 weeks to break down to fertiliser. This is a significant improvement for the environment, as the current disposable masks take over 400 years to biodegrade.
We at Floreon are glad to see movements towards making PPE eco-friendly, but we are especially interested because these masks are made of PLA. As you may already know, PLA is the base material of Floreon and although we are not affiliated, it shows the growing potential for the bioplastic. Yet Henosis are not the only ones striving to make a difference, as Orera Technology are providing 100% compostable face masks, made from the by-product of the Abaca tree.
Although it could be argued that in many ways the fight against climate change has taken a backward step during the pandemic as we turn to single-use plastics for safety, it is enlightening to see greener alternatives emerging. In future so many more people could be turning to face masks that are good for people and good for the planet.