PETALING JAYA, Dec 2 — It’s not just human health that’s suffering as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mother Nature is struggling with a new wave of plastic pollution as millions of single-use face masks are thrown away daily around the globe.
With disposable face masks threatening to choke up our oceans, homegrown baby care brand Offspring Inc and AirX have partnered up to offer the world’s first biodegradable coffee mask for Malaysians.
The reusable three-layer mask retails for RM79 on Offspring Inc’s website and is made from a unique plant-based coffee yarn.
It comes with a replaceable filter that uses silver nanotechnology and recycled coffee grounds to protect the wearer from bacteria, fungi, and virus particles.
The mask even gives off a natural coffee aroma and comes in a variety of sizes to accommodate both children and adults.
Offspring Inc’s chief executive officer Mohamed Roslan Ismail told Malay Mail that the coffee mask underscores the brand’s commitment to promoting sustainable choices for consumers.
“Public awareness of the dangers of single-use disposable masks to our environment and livelihood needs to be amped up.
“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,” said Mohamed Roslan.
Creating a sustainable future
Disposable masks are typically made of polypropylene, a fossil-derived plastic that can take hundreds of years to decompose.
Improper waste disposal means these masks can end up flowing into our oceans, releasing microplastic fibres that eventually wind up in the food chain after being ingested by the fish we eat.
The protective gear also poses dangers to animals as various reports of sea birds getting their legs tangled in the straps of single-use masks have surfaced since the beginning of the pandemic.
Mohamed Roslan added that achieving sustainable goals requires decades of effort to be invested and that parents have a crucial role to play in raising an eco-friendly generation for the future.
Educating kids on the harmful effects of single-use plastics is just the beginning, but Mohamed Roslan hopes this can create the foundation for children to be mindful of how their choices have the power to shape the future of our environment.
“As parents, we are our children’s top role models in everything they decide to embark on.
“For them to be well prepared in meeting the challenges of a new world economy, we are responsible for guiding and integrating these values in them from a very young age.
“Encouraging them to lead a sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle will educate them to take responsibility for their actions in maintaining a healthier planet.”
Mohamed Roslan said that Malaysian parents are becoming increasingly aware of the need for sustainability, leading to a rise in demand for eco-friendly baby products.
The trend of following a green lifestyle is further fuelled by social media which gives young mums and dads an incentive to adopt choices that are kinder to the environment.
“There is a growing awareness of being more environmentally responsible among Malaysian parents.
“In the last decade, the market was flooded with eco-friendly baby care products and the demand for such products is increasing from year to year.
“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 digitalisation definitely played a huge part.”