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These disposable face masks are designed to be thrown away

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This face mask can grow into flowers
This face mask can grow into flowers   -   Copyright  Marie Bee Bloom

Dropping these disposable masks on the ground could actually benefit the environment.

A Dutch designer has come up with the idea of putting flower seeds between rice paper to create a biodegradable face covering that can be planted in your garden.

We're currently using huge numbers of single-use disposable masks that can end up polluting the environment when we throw them away. They break down into microplastics that can pollute our food and bodies. Carelessly discarded face masks are also an increasing risk to wildlife.

AFP
Monkey with masksAFP

Designer Marianne de Groot-Pons says she was fed up with spotting numerous disposable masks littering the environment each time she went for a walk. So, in January, she started working on a concept for a disposable mask that helps biodiversity to thrive.

"The idea is to bloom the world," she explains. "This is your chance to make the bees happy and give something back to nature".

She sells her masks under the name 'Marie Bee Bloom' and has been surprised by the demand for her products. In only 5 weeks, she has had to move from her kitchen table, where she assembled the masks herself, and employ 30 other people to keep up with the work.

For now, she sells the homemade masks in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, but in a few weeks, she expects to open to the whole of Europe. Expanding her business is not only a question of capacity.

"We have to figure out, how is it possible to bloom the world? Because it's a bit difficult to send seeds to places like the USA, Africa or Asia. But I hope that we are in time able to find a way."

Click on the video above to learn more about this project.

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