The environmental impact of disposable mask : Why reusable masks are better
Since Covid 19, authorities have described mask pollution as an explosion of discarded plastics. With 194 million masks worn every month, all these masks must go somewhere.
PPE and disposable masks are medical waste and cannot be recycled. The masks end up in oceans, landfills or are incinerated.
Incinerating these masks releases toxic smoke into the atmosphere. But the other options are equally unpleasant.
Around the world, masks have been accumulating in our oceans. From as far as Hong Kong to Cornwall, divers are finding mask waste.
The landfill alternative is also problematic. Disposable masks contain polypropylene. Polypropylene has a lifespan of 450 years. This means that even after Covid is long passed we will have to deal with a substantial amount of mask waste.
While PPE is necessary for hospitals and for medical care, we could solve the vast majority of the problem with non-medical mask alternatives. Over the past months, there have been shortages of essential PPE and it makes sense to devote those masks to medical professionals. We can work to prevent further damage to the environment while protecting ourselves by considering reusable masks.
Maskari uses cotton masks for several reasons. A single layer of Cotton has a natural filter of up 50%. Our masks have three layers in line with WHO guidelines. We have treated each layer with a safe chemical agent. We have been working with the Swiss textile firm, HeiQ, who provides the chemical agent for our masks. The outer layer has a water repellent chemical called Ecodry. The middle layer has an antivirus agent which deactivates virus’ on its surface called Viroblock. And finally, the inner layer Smarttemp regulates the temperature of the mask.
You can learn more about HeiQ here: https://heiq.com/
Plastic isn’t necessarily the most effective solution to mask protection. With so many mask options on the market, we wanted to make a sustainable solution that is both practical and eco-friendly. Even if you don’t choose us, we hope you will consider a reusable mask.