A woman in Utrecht, Netherlands has designed 100 percent biodegradable face masks that sprout into beautiful flowers after they are planted or discarded on the ground. The masks are designed out of ‘rice paper’ and are a perfect alternative to the surgical masks that are stockpiling in litters alongside streets, and in waste disposal landfills adding to the global microplastic pollution levels. Marie Bee Bloom, a company based out of the Netherlands is run by Marianne de Groot-Pons, a graphic designer, who is behind the breakthrough and innovative idea.
According to Marie’s business website, the firm designs the face masks at Dutch sheltered workshops and manufactures the masks fiber out of edible rice. Each mask is filled with a mix of Dutch meadow flower seeds. Once discarded carelessly, or consciously buried in the land, and watered, the flower case inside the masks sprouts and blooms, cultivating the land and proving beneficial for the bees. Marie Bee Bloom face masks are 100 percent biodegradable, eco-friendly made entirely out of organic material that can convert a barren backyard corner into a colourful garden. The masks' strings, which are generally thick elastics that are hazardous for the environment, are replaced by sheep's wool cord on Marie’s environmentally friendly masks. There is no use of inks from the print but organic glue to fix the company logo.
“After a great week, today is the perfect day to set up our own Marie Bee BloomMasks garden. And now, together with the bees, we patiently wait for the flowers,” the firm wrote alongside the video where it experimentally buried the masks to determine the promising results. The company also added that it had already received bulk orders for the eco-friendly masks which imply that people want to eventually give away the use of surgical masks that are harmful to the Earth. It added, that it ramped up the production to be able to meet the increasing demands. So basically, when the mask wears out, one can throw it away with no threats to the environment, or detach the mask from the wool cord and simply plant it in soil or a pot and wait for flowers to bloom.