Candour Series Biodegradable Mask: Q&A
- What is the biodegradable mask and plastic bag made of?
The mask is made of biodegradable polymer, meltblown polypropylene (mbpp) and biodegradable spunbond polypropylene (sbpp). The plastic bag which holds the mask is made of biodegradable cast Polypropylene (CPP). The mask and plastic bag are made to biodegrade / convert into methane (CH4), Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Biomass and Water (H2O) in anaerobic landfill conditions.
- What are the benefits of MaskOn’s biodegradable face mask?
The mask complies with ASTM F2100 Level 3 and EN14683 Type IIR filtering standards. At the same time, it has a biodegradation feature after disposal. In Hong Kong, used surgical masks are sent to landfills. Under landfill conditions, these masks undergo a biodegradation process that lessens the burden on the environment.
- How do MaskOn’s biodegradable masks compare with PLA biodegradable masks?
MaskOn’s mask materials are proven biodegradable under landfill conditions, while many studies found that PLA (Polylactic Acid), which is used in other brands’ biodegradable mask products, is not biodegradable under landfill conditions.
PLA is shown to be compostable only under the conditions that the biodegradation process happens at a composting industrial facility, where the facility provides oxygen, heat (above 55 degrees Celsius) and high moisture content (H2O). The proper bacteria and fungi found in soil are crucial for PLA to biodegrade. These conditions are not available in Hong Kong’s existing landfill; therefore, PLA is not biodegradable under landfill conditions.
Currently, all used PLA-material masks are not collected for compost in Hong Kong.
- Are MaskOn’s biodegradable masks 100% biodegradable?
Based on the existing mask design, the Candour Series mask and accompanying bioplastic packaging are made from 100% biodegradable* materials, except for the metal nose clip piece, ear loops, and single meltblown layer, which were optimised for comfort and breathability.
*Based on the biodegradation trend from our test report: ASTM D5511 / ISO 15895. According to our test results, the mask is found to have 39.74% biodegradation rate in a 365-day test period.
- How will MaskOn’s biodegradable masks be affected by light and heat?
The mask is designed to biodegrade under anaerobic conditions (without light and oxygen). Its efficacy and functional properties remain the same in ambient condition.
- What is the carbon footprint of MaskOn’s biodegradable mask?
During the biodegradation process, there will be methane and carbon dioxide released. The released gas can be collected for green energy.
- Any certification / reports to prove that MaskOn’s biodegradable mask is biodegradable under landfill conditions?
Yes, we have commissioned a third-party test by Intertek Test Services. The test is based on ASTM D5511 (ISO 15985), which is the standard test method for anaerobic biodegradation of plastic materials measured at high solids anaerobic digestion conditions; in other words, simulating landfill conditions in the lab. The mask is found to have 39.74% biodegradation in one year testing period. The test is ongoing, and we will have updated biodegradability results at the two-year mark.
The mask complies with and are certified ASTM F2100 Level 3 and EN14683 Type IIR standard. The mask is also registered for use with the Intertek (ITS) Green Leaf verification / mark.
- How long until MaskOn’s biodegradable mask biodegrades completely?
From our ongoing study and simulation, the biodegradable materials are expected to completely biodegrade in 5 years under anaerobic landfill conditions.
- What happens if the used biodegradable masks are not disposed of in landfill?
In this case, it will be the same as other plastic waste as the mask is designed for anaerobic landfill biodegradation.
- Are MaskOn’s biodegradable surgical masks suitable for the Hong Kong market?
Yes, the materials were chosen precisely to cater to Hong Kong’s landfill conditions and general consumption / disposal patterns in the city. Currently in Hong Kong, plastic wastes that are not recyclable, incinerable, pyrolysis-able are sent to landfills. For single use disposable surgical mask, due to sanitisation and hygiene concerns, they are generally sent to landfills.
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