Mangaluru, April 20, 2021: One-time face mask users now have the option of using such cotton masks which grow into plants while thrown. A Mangaluru-based social entrepreneur and environmental activist has come up with a unique initiative for conserving the environment by introducing eco-friendly masks made up of cotton rags which will grow into plants once disposed off in the soil as they are embedded with seeds of fruits and vegetables.
A social entrepreneurship called Paper Seed near Mangaluru has made such masks containing seeds like tulasi and tomato.
Speaking to ANI, social entrepreneur and environmental activist Nithin Vas said, "We as an organisation designed this paper mask. The first layer of the mask is made up of cotton rags and the inner layer is made up of cotton linings. Interestingly, once these degradable masks are thrown in the soil, plants will grow out of them from the seeds embedded on these masks."
"The mask is eco-friendly and degradable. You can see a huge amount of masks, including the surgical ones, or the ones that you make at home or the towel that you tie. It saves you from the COVID infection or the infection one can contract from various viruses. But the most important thing that we need to remember is that with the conservation of human beings, we also need to worry about the animals, the and and other aquatic animals because these masks go and reach the oceans, polluting them an also harming the aquatic life," said Vas.
These masks may not be as soft as surgical ones but they are durable and it is advisable not to wash them as the cotton pulp of which the mask is made up, will get dissolved, he added.
Earlier, the Paper Seed had made eco-friendly ‘rakhis’ having seeds of tomato, cucumber, capsicum, tulasi, and the like for Raksha Bandhan. It also makes eco-friendly jewellery, earrings, keychain, ladles, cups from coconut shells, driftwood sculptures, baskets from locally available creepers and climbers. Some of the other products include seed pens, bamboo toothbrush, designed paper mache, seed paper notepad, paper straw, recycled paper cards, newspaper seed pencils, organic agarbatti, and the like.
It had also made paper flags for Independence Day. Its other latest product included toys made from paper mache or paper pulp. He has named them as Mangaluru toys on the lines of Channapatna toys which are made from soft wood. Those toys reflected local culture.