In Malaysia, a shoe company and baby care brand have partnered to bring biodegradable face masks made of coffee waste to the local market. The masks are meant to serve as an eco-friendlier personal protective equipment option against the spread of COVID-19.
Local infant retailer Offspring, Inc will sell the reusable, three-layer masks for RM79 (US$19) on their website. The masks, named AirX, were launched by coffee-based shoe brand ShoeX earlier this year. Made from recycled coffee grounds, the masks smell like a cup of joe and filter out bacteria, fungi, and virus particles, according to soyacincau.com.
“Public awareness of the dangers of single-use disposable masks to our environment and livelihood needs to be amped up,” Offspring Inc’s chief executive officer Mohamed Roslan Ismail told Malay Mail. “We are reaching environmental tipping points and it is our social responsibility to act upon it. Corporations can play a role not just in the development of sustainable products, but also to educate their consumers in the consequences of their created wastes.”
He adds that there is growing awareness of the need to be more environmentally responsible among Malaysian parents. “Parents these days are continuously exposed to digital content with various environmental movements and initiatives which influences them to make adjustments in their shopping habits, so digitalization definitely played a huge part.”