From discipline to compost: French agency develops hemp face masks

Lezinnes (France), September 11

In a manufacturing unit in rural France, a laser cuts by way of a hemp canvas on the manufacturing line of what the producer says is Europe’s first compostable face masks.

Geochanvre pitches the hemp masks as a technique to scale back plastic waste throughout the coronavirus pandemic from single-use protecting gear that environmentalists say will take centuries to decompose and is polluting the oceans.

“It’s heresy not to ban polyethylene products, materials that are shipped to all corners of the world. Use local agricultural materials,” Frédéric Roure, founding president of Geochanvre, advised Reuters TV.

“This is a natural product and will go back into the soil.” The masks’s lining features a corn mix for consolation and the elastic band is recyclable.

Bales of hemp fibre are handed by way of compressors and over rollers earlier than rising on the finish of the road as hard-packed flat sheets, able to be reduce into form and folded by hand.

Customers, principally from Europe and Canada, have to date purchased 1.5 million of the hemp masks since March.

Worldwide, an estimated 129 billion disposable face masks and 65 billion gloves are used each month, based on a examine within the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

Most single-use protecting gear is constructed from plastics together with polypropylene, polythene and vinyl.

Disposable plastic masks that find yourself within the oceans may take as much as 450 years to decompose, based on marketing campaign group Waste Free Oceans.

Biodegradable and compostable face masks, constructed from supplies resembling hemp or wooden fibres, are being made or developed all over the world. Reuters

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