While a year ago there was such a shortage in face masks that people started sewing reusable mouth and nose protections, today such masks have not only become commonly available consumables - but even more so - disposables.
Every day, millions if not billions of plastic masks are thrown in the trash or end up in our parks, forests and our oceans causing great pollution and damage.
Saddened by all the consequences to our environment, Dutch designer Marianne de Groot came up with an as innovative as wonderful idea: a biodegradable mouth mask with flower seeds!
The Marie Bee Bloom masks are made of rice paper filled with flower seeds and the woolen cords are made of pure sheep wool. A glue based on potato starch and water keeps everything together. In order for the mask to bloom and do its magic, you only have to bury it in soil and ensure it gets sufficient water.
The masks are not classified as medical masks and therefore have not been tested or certified against any EU standard, however, wouldn't it be simply fabulous if other (bigger) producers followed Marie's calling and be inspired by her idea?
Until then, let's bring circular economy thinking to this serious waste problem - like a company in the UK, for example, that started a recycling initative and asks people and industry to #ReclaimThe Mask
Or the Australian researchers at RMIT who have shown how disposable PPE face masks could be recycled to make roads.
Follow the links to learn more about the blooming masks and the recycling initatives