Wearing a mask has ceased to be a once-in-year, Halloween-exclusive custom months ago. Since the pandemic spread, we’ve become accustomed to wearing it daily, feeling as natural as putting our shoes on. This, of course, translated into the use and disposal of 129 billion face masks every month across the world last year. In an attempt to cut down on this plastic pollution, one Dutch brand created a biodegradable mask that turns into flowers after you throw it away.
Marie Bee Bloom is the seller of single-use rice paper masks with embedded seeds. The materials used to fabricate them make the masks biodegradable, meaning they can decompose fairly quickly. Place them in a garden or landfill and you’ll see them disappear in a matter of days not years, as is the case of PPE. Not to mention the risk associated with PPE of harming marine life and ultimately, human life.
But we’ve seen biodegradable face masks before. After all, since the beginning of the pandemic, dozens of face masks manufacturers popped up, each offering us different patterns, fabrics, and even smart features. However, this is the first time we’ve heard of a face mask that, when thrown away, will not only decompose but leave room for a flower to bloom.
The Marie Bee Bloom mask is capable of doing that because its creator, Marianne de Groot-Pons, has embedded seeds in its paper folds. Indeed, between two sheets of paper, glued with potato starch and water, can be found seven different types of flower seeds.
You have your daisies, petunias, cornflowers and baby’s breath among them. Plant them into soil and water them and in three days, the seeds should germinate. In time, in their stead, you should see beautiful flowers in bloom.
Actually, every element that makes up the face mask was carefully thought out so it could decompose. Like the ear loops that were made from spun sheep’s wool or the biodegradable ink logo.
What inspired Marianne de Groot-Pons to create these masks in the first place? “In all the years that I have been working as a graphic designer, I have also polluted the earth with designing for print and packaging, so I wanted to give something back,” she confesses. “After weeks of tripping over all the blue disposable face masks on the street, I woke up one morning to the idea of a biodegradable mask with flower seeds in it – happy Earth, happy bees, happy nature, happy people.”
Couldn’t have said it better!
Interested in getting a blooming face mask? You should know prices start from 15 euros for a five-pack and go up to 45 euros for a pack of 15 face masks. Check them out here but beware – for now, the Marie bee Bloom shop only ships to European countries.