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Brief Published: 21 May 2020

Eco Face Mask Made From Coffee

Extra
AirX

While necessary to prevent the spread of Covid-19, the rising tide of disposable gloves and face masks is bad news for the environment, with vast swathes of plastic waste finding its way into the world’s oceans. To tackle this challenge, Vietnamese and Canadian sustainable footwear brand ShoeX has designed a reusable and biodegradable mask made from coffee grounds.

The AirX masks comprise two components: a reusable mask constructed from coffee yarn made using a proprietary ‘Powerknit Technology’ and a biodegradable air-filter insert made from coffee grounds and silver nanotechnology, which is designed to withstand 30 days of use.

The masks use the antimicrobial properties of coffee grounds and have obtained AATCC 100 certification, the textile industry’s standard for antimicrobial fabric performance in the United States.

Packs of five masks are available through the brand’s website for 445,000 VND ($19) and come in five colourways; white, black, grey, blue and coffee brown.

In Wuhan alone during the peak of the outbreak, hospitals generated over 270 tonnes of medical waste, and 116 million tonnes of facemasks were thrown away across the province per day. This waste has already started to wash up on beaches in Hong Kong and poses a very real threat to marine species and birdlife (South China Morning Post, 2020). 

As countries around the world begin to lift stay-at-home restrictions and make it mandatory for citizens to cover their faces when passing through public spaces, these kinds of eco solutions will become ever more critical to avert ecological disaster. For more on sustainability innovation and Covid-19, read Recycled Plastic Becomes Personal Protective Equipment and Veganism’s Post-Pandemic Future.

Meanwhile, read Meet the New Coffee Consumers, Coffee’s Next Chapter and Trans-Industry Ingredients for more on coffee’s sustainable role.

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