Hong Kong-based independent face mask brand Maskology will start developing biodegradable disposable face masks in collaboration with an environmental nonprofit- A Plastic Ocean Foundation. Anti-plastic campaigners are asking to switch to reusable options but the high-risk populations and personal preferences may still be an obstacle in the adoption of sustainable face coverings. Through the collaboration, it is hoped that the burden the pandemic has had on the world’s plastic waste crisis can be tackled by offering the public a biodegradable single-use option.
For developing eco-friendly biodegradable face masks, Maskology announced their collaboration with A Plastic Ocean Foundation on February 23 in order to deal with the astronomical plastic waste associated with disposable face masks over the past year of the coronavirus pandemic.
As per the current figures in 2020, it is estimated that 1.56 billion face coverings have already entered the ocean creating havoc on marine ecosystems and contributing to harmful microplastic pollution entering back into our food chain.
Maskology will be launching several brand new editions of masks over the course of 2021 under the project titled “For The Planet Series.” The first phase of collaboration is going to begin in March through which the company will reduce the usage of plastic materials by 80% and eliminate the 100% usage of paper in its non-essential packaging, as well as through on-pack labels the company will inform the public on proper disposal and recycling of face masks.
In the second phase, the company is going to replace two-thirds of the total fabrics used in its face masks with biodegradable materials. And by the third phase, all the face masks under its eco-friendly mask series will be produced using biodegradable fabrics along with looking for replacing unsustainable materials in the rest of its product lines.
A Plastic Ocean Foundation is the charity behind the award-winning 2016 documentary A Plastic Ocean which is directed by Craig Leeson. Through the partnership, for supporting the organization’s clean-up initiatives on beaches and hiking trails in Hong Kong, Maskology will be redirecting a portion of the sales from the new project.
As the pandemic continues to stay, and experts predict that mask-wearing will continue to be the norm in the months to come, this Hong Kong-based mask maker hopes that the project will help in driving a new “sustainable mask manufacturing ecosystem” in Hong Kong.
The high-risk groups such as the elderly or those who are immunocompromised, or those who for personal preferences have chosen the disposable face coverings in order to ensure the safest possible protection against the spread of Covid-19. Hence the development of sustainable versions of single-use masks is particularly important for these high-risk groups.
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