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ARE FACE MASKS BAD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT?

August 14, 2020 2 min read

On 24 July the UK government announced that people were required to wear face coverings when in enclosed spaces such as shops and supermarkets, at transport hubs such as train stations, on public transport, in museums, hairdressers or while accessing NHS services.

Immediately sales of face masks skyrocketed as people followed the guidance. With similar guidance being issued around the globe, billions of orders for disposable masks have been placed in recent weeks. France alone recently ordered two billion from China.

Unfortunately, many of the face masks on offer were disposable and full of plastic, leading to a mountain of “Covid-waste” being produced.

 

Conservationists have warned that the coronavirus pandemic could spark a surge in ocean pollution, with the French non-profit Opération Mer Propre, whose activities include regularly picking up litter along the Côte d’Azur, beginning to sound the alarm, telling The Guardian they were ‘finding masks floating like jellyfish and scattered across the ocean floor that already threatens marine life’.

Laurent Lombard of Opération Mer Propre posted on social media “Soon we’ll run the risk of having more masks than jellyfish in the Mediterranean”, leading to French politician Éric Pauget, begging Emmanuel Macron to do more; “With a lifespan of 450 years, these masks are an ecological timebomb given their lasting environmental consequences for our planet.”

All of this is on top of the estimated 13 million tonnes of plastic that went into oceans each year prior to the pandemic, according to a 2018 estimate by UN Environment. The Mediterranean alone, suffers from 570,000 tonnes of plastic dumped in it each year – an amount the World Wildlife Foundation described as ‘equal to dumping 33,800 plastic bottles every minute into the sea’.

So, what can we do as consumers to protect ourselves and the environment?

At Protexa we think there is a better way to protect ourselves, each other and our planet. It is why we have created our brand new, internationally patented ‘Evolution of Cotton (EOC)’ face mask collection.

Whereas other existing PPE face-mask technologies can only provide a comparatively low level of bio-protection, our newly developed sustainable and ecologically sound EOC materials naturally possess strong anti-bacterial and infection preventative properties, making them vastly more effective at enhancing biosafety than any sustainable and reusable mask on the market.

Furthermore, the use of EOC textiles which are safe, toxin-free and organic makes our products highly eco-friendly, thus tackling the major issue of eco-waste created by PPE made from synthetic textiles.

All in all, our EOC collection is an advancement in protective garment and face-mask design that offers superior protection for professionals and the public entering biologically hazardous work environments or social spaces, and it is easy to see why EOC has already won multiple awards for green technology.

If you want to protect yourself and reduce your environmental impact we can help.


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