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Biodegradable facemask set for commercial launch

The mask components can be readily assembled on existing commercial converting machines.

3rd March 2021

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Montreal, Canada

Protective, Sustainable

FPInnovations, a Canadian research and development centre based in Montreal, has successfully developed a biodegradable facemask for public use that is ready to be manufactured in Canada.

The biodegradable mask is now ready for commercialisation by Canadian manufacturers, the country’s Minister of Natural Resources Seamus O’Regan said in launching the product – the result of a C$3.3 million project. 

The collaborative research and scientific innovation between FPInnovations and its partners in the project allowed for the successful development of a fully biodegradable mask using a unique pilot-scale paper-machine. In addition to the mask filtering materials, FPInnovations has identified and successfully incorporated elastic ear loops and nose pieces that are biodegradable. Importantly, the mask components can be readily assembled on existing commercial mask-converting machines.

The mask has been assessed by external labs according to international norms and will set the standard for non-medical masks in terms of filtration, breathability, and biodegradability, its developers say. With its unique product design, FPInnovations has also recently attained the more demanding ASTM norms for filtration efficiency and breathability that are required for procedure masks.

“The development of this biodegradable mask clearly shows that stimulating the bioeconomy can contribute to a cleaner environment in Canada,” said Stéphane Renou, president and CEO of FPInnovations. “The outstanding collective scientific and technological expertise of the forest sector has been key to the success and speed of this project, and is proof that together, we are capable of bringing eco-friendly bio-sourced products through the pipeline from research to market within just months.”

“Biodegradable masks made from Canada’s sustainably managed forests are a great example of the ingenuity of Canada’s forest sector, keeping Canadians safe and protecting our environment,” added Seamus O’Regan.

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