When ecological thinking and action meet high-tech materials, there is an approach to
Zero Waste even in times of the pandemic
. In this post of our
blog for water without microplastics and micropollutants
we do not write about us, but about a health-protecting and nature-friendly alternative to disposable masks.
: We have a waste problem
mouth-nose protective masks
entered our lives due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have encountered
disposable medical masks as trash
on the street, in the woods, or in the riverbed. One mask on the sidewalk. One hanging in the bushes, while another is decomposing in a puddle.
It's all pretty disgusting and, above all, an inconceivable amount of garbage where it definitely does not belong. Even in the
inlet of wastewater treatment plants
, including Landau (Germany), where our pilot plant reactors are located, several disposable masks drift toward the mechanical treatment stage every day.
After being worn, disposable masks turn into tons of waste, sometimes more sometimes less properly disposed of. The disposable masks, which are usually made of polyester and polypropylene, decompose into their more or less toxic individual components in the midst of nature. They are thus a new source of micropollutants and microplastics entering our environment.
One challenge that arguably all societies are struggling with these days is disposable masks. Because they are far too often not disposed of properly, they have become a real environmental problem. The environmental organization OceansAsia estimates that in 2020, 1.5 billion masks have washed into the oceans.
While long overdue plastic waste legislations are being implemented across Europe in January, many Zero Waste efforts of past years find themselves put on hold until further notice. We, too, find ourselves reaching for disposable items again and again. Triggered by a perhaps rather unconscious fear of contagion (?), we reach for the disposable. It somehow seems more hygienic.
Other ways are possible: Organic meets hightech *Please note: Advertising *
We were really excited when we heard about a mask that is really sustainable and smart: the BIOHIGHTECH mask by myFacelite. We were even more excited when we heard that the owner of myFacelite Erika Schroth was donating 1 euro per mask aqua sold to our nascent education project on microplastics. So, as the masks will probabely stay with us for the next months, this is a good option - we think.
Good reasons for reusable masks
We consider reusable masks to be a good decision overall. MyFacelite we like for these reasons:
The masks are made of organic cotton and are reusable. One myFacelite mask replaces 90 disposable masks with 90x washing.
They mean a significant cost savings compared to disposable masks, a huge reduction in waste and are manufactured regionally in Germany.
Not only we think this is really good. myFacelite has already been awarded the environmental prize of the city of Mannheim (Germany) for their masks.
Those of you, who would like to have more information about the masks, can find them at www.myfacelite.de. The masks can also be ordered directly there. Also if questions should arise about protection effectiveness, material, duration of use, etc..., please address them directly to myFacelite.
We say THANK YOU, dear Erika Schroth for bringing your innovative and ecological spirit to the mask market and also to all of you, who decide for myFacelite aqua from now on!
Surely there are other good reusable masks, which provide good health and environmental protection. Go for it! And those of you who continue to prefer disposable masks: Please dispose of the used masks in the residual waste garbage cans - and, actually self-evident, in no case in the toilet.
Protect yourselves, protect the people around you and the environment. Stay healthy!