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Making face masks out of ocean plastic

ENVIRONMENT

With face masks in high demand during covid-19, one company has taken a greener approach to supplying the public with masks.


The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) has teamed up with sustainable sportswear company Rash’r to make face masks out of plastic salvaged from the ocean.


Each mask is sold with five replacement filters at a price just enough to cover the costs of manufacturing. “We are not profiting from this product,” Lisa Nicklin, vice president of consumer marketing at PADI Worldwide told CNN. “We’re very much a heart-and-soul organisation. We care about the ocean and our diver community, so we wanted to be able to put our hands on our hearts and say we’re not profiting off this difficult time.”


PADI’s masks offer a less wasteful alternative to the limited supplies of N95 respirator masks that are being reserved for healthcare workers on the frontlines of the pandemic. All the masks are machine-washable and produced with dual-polyester layers to support the replaceable filters.


With the company being inundated with more than 15,000 mask pre-orders in a matter of weeks — which has helped recycle around 600 kilos of ocean plastic — Nicklin told CNN they are now ramping up production to meet the growing demand.

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