Cover Maskology hopes to introduce the city's first biodegradable mask by this year (Photo: Courtesy of Maskology)

Maskology has partnered up with non-profit, A Plastic Ocean Foundation to produce the city's first biodegradable face masks. But to make it happen, they'll need your help.

It’s been over a year since the pandemic started, and face masks have officially become a part of our daily lives. To minimise the environmental impacts of mask waste, Hong Kong face mask brand Maskology has partnered up with non-profit, A Plastic Ocean Foundation to develop biodegradable, disposable face masks that’s set to launch within 2021. However, this ambitious project still requires significant investment from the public to make it into reality. 

The environmental cost of staying safe during a pandemic is high—it is estimated that 1.56 billion face masks have polluted the ocean in 2020. Since disposable face masks are made of polypropylene, the material can only be recycled at special facilities, and then it’s hard to do so due to its composite materials.

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To help reduce the city’s plastic footprint, Maskology’s green plans will be separated into three phases, with the first one beginning in March 2021. The first phase will be titled “Maskology x A Plastic Ocean Foundation #ForThePlanet” which features disposable face masks that use 80% less plastic material in the packaging, and remove all paper used in its packaging. To help fund the charity’s beach and hiking trail clean up initiative, Maskology will also make regular donations from the collaboration’s proceeds. 

In phase two, Maskology will level up their initiative, developing an additional series of masks called “Green Mask”. Two-thirds of the fabric in that series will be made from biodegradable material. 

Finally, in phase three, Maskology will be aiming to replace all non-biodegradable fabrics in the previous launch with biodegradable ones, introducing Hong Kong’s first fully biodegradable mask. 

While plans are currently in place, the project still requires significant investment and support from the public. If you’re looking to make a donation, please contact Ms Cinder Lee at cinder@maskology.com.hk or Dr. Laura Agusto at laura.agusto@aplasticocean.foundation.

The first phase of Maskology x A Plastic Ocean Foundation #ForThePlanet’s face masks will be available from March 2021. 

See also: Waste, Unmasked: How Covid-19 Masks Have Affected The Environment