A special, Eco-friendly mask has been created that contains seed within which allows it to germinate then grow into a plant after it is discarded. Since the Covid-19 pandemic last year, the world has seen an increased number of masks being used, hence, discarded. This is because our society has been taught to live with a new normal that includes the prevalent use of masks and sanitizers while human beings practice social distancing at all times.
On the other hand, this has led to an increased waste of single-use masks that are being irresponsibly discarded. This is also adding to the enormous mountain of plastic waste that already plagues the planet. Plastic pollution is one of the most pressing concerns that has been caused by plastic bottles, disposable cutlery, and polystyrene packaging. Recently masks have also been seen floating in the water bodies.
How can masks be made that will not harm the environment? Can eco-friendly masks be helpful rather than harmful?
The answer to these questions is certainly positive. An engineer based in Bangalore has successfully managed to manufacture an eco-friendly mask that is completely biodegradable. In addition, these masks will further help our environment. This Bangalore-based engineer is Roshan Ray.
100% Biodegradable, Eco-Friendly Masks
It’s grows into a Plant after 4-6 weeks time pic.twitter.com/QmlYt3DHZK
— Seed Paper India (@SeedPaperIndia) April 23, 2021
Roshan Ray devised the plan of making masks from seed papers. Moreover, Ray has already started manufacturing the seed papers. This seed paper consists of seeds that can germinate quite easily. After this, it will start to grow into a plant slowly after the mask gets discarded.
However, it must be noted that this paper is not very flexible or sturdy in order to help create a mask. As a result of this problem, Ray was forced to make slight changes to his raw materials to mitigate these issues. He decided to make eco-friendly masks by means of recycling waste cloth which is discarded by garment factories in the landfills. Ray made use of this cloth and turned them into the special seed paper.
The waste cloth material is treated and turned into biodegradable paper. Several kinds of seeds from various herbs such as marigold, tulsi, and other kinds of seeds are added while the paper is being manufactured. Nonetheless, this special seed paper is stronger and more flexible than the normal handmade paper because it is made from cloth.
Furthermore, these eco-friendly masks have jute or khadi threads that replace the elastic bands used to make the loops around the ears. This adds another layer of sustainability along with the print on these masks which are made of 100 sustainable ink. All these make the masks completely biodegradable and helpful to our environment.
Innovative Techniques in Mask-Making
Even after the masks are discarded, the seeds start sprouting within a few weeks and grow in small plants. The most beneficial aspect is the paper that serves as manure for these new seedlings.
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Such an innovative technique used in the process of making eco-friendly masks addresses some of the most concerning sources of pollution. The first one being the discarded cloth materials get reused and upcycled. More importantly, the hazard of discarded masks gets reduced. Roy has remarked that his eco-friendly masks can be regularly worn without any side effects.
He further added that the herbal seeds inserted in the paper continue to do their beneficial work as well as offer aroma to the person wearing them. Rather than being discarded in trash or garbage bags, they decompose within some weeks to grow into beneficial herbs. Such multi-purpose work by a hazardous thing is possibly the best innovation in such difficult times.
Image Featured Seed Paper India