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From field to compost: French company develops cannabis mask

Leginnis: In a factory in rural France, a laser cut hemp canvas on the production line. The manufacturer said this was the first compostable mask in Europe. Geochanvre released hemp masks to reduce plastic waste caused by disposable protective equipment during the coronavirus pandemic. Environmentalists say that disposable protective equipment will take centuries to decompose and pollute the ocean.

Frédéric Roure, the founding president of Geochanvre, told Reuters TV: “It is heresy not to prohibit the transportation of polyethylene products shipped to all corners of the world.” “This is a natural product and will return to the soil.”

The lining of the mask includes corn mixture, which is highly comfortable and the elastic band is recyclable. The bundle of twine passes through a compressor and through a roller, and then appears in the form of a hard-packed flat plate at the end of the production line, ready to be cut into shapes and folded by hand.

Since March, customers mainly from Europe and Canada have purchased 1.5 million cannabis masks. According to a study in the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, it is estimated that 129 billion disposable masks and 65 billion gloves are used every month in the world.

Most disposable protective equipment is made of plastic, including polypropylene, polyethylene and vinyl. According to the sports organization “Waste of the Ocean”, the disposable plastic masks that are finally discarded in the ocean may take up to 450 years to decompose. Biodegradable and compostable masks made of materials such as hemp or wood fiber are being manufactured or developed worldwide.


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