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During the pandemic this past year, facemasks have become a very common litter. When thrown away, masks break down into microplastics and the tiny particles can pollute our drinking water, food and bodies. Before they break down they are a very dangerous risk to wildlife. A Dutch designer was fed up with seeing disposable masks littered everywhere every time she went for a walk.
In January designer Marianne de Groot-Pons started designing a disposable mask that won’t harm nature and boost biodiversity. In order for the mask to be degradable, it is made out of rice paper. In between the sheets of rice paper, there are flower seeds. The masks also have adjustable ear straps made of wool. You can plant your used masks in your garden and it will help biodiversity thrive. Marianne de Groot-Pons told EuroNews:
"The idea is to bloom the world. This is your chance to make the bees happy and give something back to nature".
In merely five weeks, de Groot-Pons has had to move from making the masks in her kitchen together with her husband to employ over 30 people in order to meet the demand for her product. The designer sells the masks under the name “Marie Bee Bloom”. For now, these amazing masks are only sold in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. In a few weeks, de Groot-Pons expects to be able to sell to the rest of Europe as well.
Creative people thinking outside the box, like Marianne de Groot-Pons, are the people making the future come sooner.