Without a doubt, the white and blue masks have become the unfortunate symbol of 2020, and we are almost a quarter of the way through 2021, and they are still part of our lives. With many companies making the standard disposable masks made of polypropylene, it wasn’t long before the masks were found in the ocean and strewn about in nature. While the plastic they are made from is normally recyclable, because of the fear of spreading the virus and the small size the masks are, they are generally not recyclable.
The standard masks, like the thin single-use plastic bags that are being banned in more and more cities and countries, catch and get stuck in standard recycling machinery, causing downtime and machinery failure. While this fact didn’t stop some companies from finding ways to recycle single-use masks, a woman in the Netherlands came up with a different material, to make biodegradable masks that can be thrown in the dirt when you are done with them.
This biodegradable mask will be pushing up daisies when you are done with it.
These masks, made of rice paper, are filled with flower seeds and are made in a Dutch workshop. Marianne de Groot-Pons, a graphic designer of Pons Ontwerp visual communication in Utrecht came up with the idea. After weeks of seeing the blue single-use masks laying in the street, she came woke up with a plan to make a difference.
Marie had been working as a graphic designer for many years and had felt like she also polluted the earth with designing for printing and packaging, so she wanted to give something back. The idea was to make a biodegradable mask with flower seeds in it.
The breathable rice paper is dotted with seeds of asters, cornflower, coreopsis, gilia, gypsophila, and dill. The straps on the mask are made of pure wool from her sheep that she carded, spun, twined, and washed once. Now, due to the high demand, she now also uses wool from other Dutch sheep, this wool is spun by machine in Sweden because the Netherlands no longer has a spinning mill.
Then there are the adjusters, or rosettes, for the wool straps that Marie punches out of vegetable egg cartons. And to top it all off, even the stamped logo ink is biodegradable. With her hashtag #bloomtheworld, she wants to help create a more beautiful and clean world, one biodegradable mask at a time.
Check out her shop here Marie Bee Bloom.
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