Vietnamese Company Creates World’s First Biodegradable Coffee Face Mask To Combate Pollution

A footwear company in Vietnam has just launched its new product line of coffee face masks. Called AirX, the face mask is made from Vietnamese coffee beans and is reusable, biodegradable and antibacterial. 

Founded in 2019, ShoeX, who also makes coffee shoes, hopes that it will help protect people from the coronavirus without further burdening the planet.  

ShoeX says that its current capacity is at 10,000 masks daily to match global demand. 

The company decided to create the new eco-friendly and reusable mask alternative in order to halt the mounting waste and plastic pollution created by the prevalent use of disposable face masks during the pandemic. 

While a vital tool in combating the spread of the virus, many environmentalists have pointed out that it is quickly becoming a major contributor to marine and landfill waste. In late February, Hong Kong marine conservation group OceansAsia made headlines documenting images of disposable surgical face masks littered on the city’s coastlines and waters.

“AirX is not just a recommendation to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but preserve the planet as well,” said founder of ShoeX Thanh Le. 

Not only will it reduce the waste crisis exacerbated by the use of disposable face masks, AirX masks are naturally antimicrobial. According to the company, the coffee face masks are developed with 99.99% dual antibacterial technology – the first layer composed of a coffee yarn and the second being a biodegradable filter created using coffee and silver nanotechnology. It has been approved by the AATCC 100 certification, the textile industry’s standard for antimicrobial performance in the United States. 

Users of the mask can wash it after every use, while the inside biodegradable filter does not need to be washed but can be replaced monthly. 

Experts have reiterated that until a vaccine or cure is developed for Covid-19, it is unlikely that we will be able to ditch face masks when in public. The creators of AirX therefore envision further improvements to their product to come.