The disposable mask that will be worn for a while may soon make its way to the compost bin.
A private, non-profit research and development center has just developed a fully designed prototype of biodegradable plastic and wood fiber with a federal grant of $ 3.3 million.
FPInnovations, which specializes in the Canadian forestry sector, claims that its mask has an 85% filtration efficiency.
“Our dream is for Canadian companies to take this head on and start producing. The solution is there, it is financially acceptable ”, indicates the president of the non-profit organization (NPO), Stéphane Renou.
The mask was designed on a paper machine in the NPO’s laboratories. Now, for it to be produced at high volume, companies will have to come forward.
“In terms of the assembly of the mask, it can be done tomorrow morning,” says Mr. Renou.
FPInnovations’ forestry partners will have priority, but any company wishing to produce it can do business with the NPO.
Since the mask is made using paper machines, a manufacturer could produce “several million a day”, explains the boss of FPInnovations.
And which composting plant will accept these masks? “It takes industrial composting conditions, which Montreal has, but not Ottawa, for example,” replies Mr. Renou.
Karel Ménard, of the Quebec Common Front for Ecological Waste Management, draws a parallel with biodegradable plastic bags. “It created a lot of confusion and problems. It’s impossible to tell one bag that is biodegradable from one that isn’t, ”he says.
The FPInnovations mask could face the same problem, fears Ménard. “I am sure that a composting center that receives masks, its first instinct, it will be to remove them, because it will be a contaminant,” he thinks.
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