Face masks are now part of our daily lives, and are likely to remain so for months, if not years.

But while they may be essential in stopping the spread of Covid-19, they aren’t beneficial for the planet or the oceans. Surgical are littered across the streets of city capitals, and they aren’t discarded in the streets, face masks are filling up public trash cans and home garbage bags, which are particularly environmentally friendly, either.

In light of this, a Dutch designer has come up with a biodegradable mask with an adorably named brand — Marie Be Bloom. Which, instead a face mask ending its life in the street or in the trash, it can be planted in your garden for a second life as blossoms and blooms.

To cut pollution linked to mask wearing, Marianne de Groot-Pons in the Netherlands, founder of Marie Bee Bloom came up with a 100% biodegradable version. But she hasn’t stopped there. To brighten up these gloomy times, the designer is offering an artisanal-made face mask which, once worn, can be planted in a garden or a pot and grow into flowers. This is possible thanks to flower seeds embedded in the original accessory.

“After weeks of tripping over all the blue disposable masks on the street, I woke up one morning to the idea of a biodegradable face mask with flower seeds in it. Earth [is] happy, bees [are] happy, nature [is] happy, people [are] happy. I sell the mask under the name Marie Bee Bloom. Bloom the world!” Groot-Pons writes in explanation on her website.

The mask is made from rice paper and contains flower seeds. Its straps are spun from pure sheep’s wool. Even the glue used to attach certain parts is made using potato starch and water. This does, nevertheless, make the mask much more fragile than regular disposable masks, as Marianne de Groot-Pons explains herself, and reminds would-be buyers that the accessory should be handled with care.

And, to no surprise, they are also more expensive than regular disposable masks. They are priced at €3 (approx. HK$28) each or, more precisely, from €15 (or approx. HK$137) for five masks. Another important detail is protection. The website mentions that the Marie Bee Bloom mask potentially provides as much (or as little) protection as a handmade fabric mask, since the mask has not yet been tested to measure its effectiveness against Covid-19. That’s certainly something to take into account before placing an order, and it’s currently only available from three countries.

This article was published via AFP Relaxnews.