The masks have undoubtedly become part of our daily outfit as a preventive measure against covid-19, in fact, today there is a lot of offer that exists in the market of this mandatory product, from reusable masks, to single-use surgical masks, which could become an environmental problem if they are not deposited in the appropriate containers, since they are not recyclable masks.
That big problem could change in a short time thanks to the launch of Proveil Biomask, the first biodegradable mask created by the Valencian company Bioinicia and the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC). This mask is made with the same nanofiber technology as current masks with the difference that when used and discarded, it will affect the planet much less.
“The objective is that after being used, people can add them to the brown container of organic matter, so that they are either taken to the landfill and there they biodegrade in the soil, or they are taken to industrial composting plants to biodegrade with the rest of the organic matter, transforming into CO2 and fertilizer ", says José María Lagarón, the CSIC researcher who has developed the Proveil nanofiber filter.
The levels of biodegradation both in soil and in the marine environment of the materials developed for this mask have been studied by the Associated Unit of the CSIC of the Jaume I University in Polymer Technology, in conjunction with the collaboration of the University Institute of Environment and Sciences Marinas (IMEDMAR) of the Catholic University of València. The main objective is to show that microplastics are not generated and that all the material is transformed into CO2 and water.
They have a bacterial filtration efficiency greater than 92% and an aerosol filtration efficiency greater than 85% (Proveil)
Biodegradation in the marine environment has also been measured with the introduction of prototypes at the facilities of the Universidad Católica de València on the Mediterranean coast, specifically in Calp, Alicante.
Proveil Biomask masks are almost 100% recyclable, and it is said almost, because the rubbers used to hold them are not, as Lagarón explains, indicating that it is very important that before throwing them away the rubber is removed. "The body of these masks will be transformed into water and compost, so we recommend, as should be done with all masks, to separate the ear gums, which are not compostable, and the nose clip for recycling from the body of the mask. ”, As indicated by the Valencian company in a statement issued.
“We believe that the health of the population is not something to take into account only in the short term, but rather something that we should work on day after day. For this reason, we are going to launch the first fully biodegradable body mask, even in the environment ”, explains the Marketing Director of Bionicia, Paola Dez.
So far this post, thank you very much for reading. Content researched and written by me, the images used are cited to their respective source.