We have launched a range of sustainable face coverings, which we hope can be part of the package that helps events get back to business. They are safely re-usable, made from recycled materials, recyclable at end of life and an effective barrier to COVID-19.
So what’s the problem?
Single use masks fly in the face of sustainability – with a recent study suggesting we are undoing last years’ progress reducing single use plastic with one disease-ridden product – the disposable face mask.
Researchers calculations have predicted that: “if everyone in the UK was to wear a single use plastic mask every day for a year, that would create 128,000 tonnes of plastic waste per year… Completely avoidable if people use reusable masks.” (Professor Mark Miodownik)
At AnyBrand we wanted to find ways to help industry get back to business. Face coverings are an important tool in the armoury to minimise the need for social distancing. We have made our face coverings even safer through our discovery and use of HeiQ Viroblock, a textile treatment, which is tested effective against the SARS-COV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.
We undertook a lot of due diligence to verify the effectiveness of HeiQ Viroblock. HeiQ Viroblock treated masks are 20 times more effective against COVID-19 than an untreated mask.
These face coverings are safely re-usable because the (COVID-19) virus can’t survive on the HeiQ Viroblock treated material, which means they can be removed and placed on a surface without becoming a vector for transmitting the virus – which is a significant problem with untreated re-usable masks. Sustainability runs through the core of AnyBrand Mask’s business ethos, so finding sustainable face coverings which could be re-used and safe was crucial.
Our AnyBrand face coverings are made from recycled materials and have been shown to maintain HeiQ Viroblock effectiveness against COVID-19 through at least 30 washes at 60°c. As the virus can’t survive on the material they only need washing when they get dirty.
In an ideal circular economy we would be able to recoat the items, but at this stage we’re not set up for that, so the best we can do is ensure that the material is recyclable. One airline we are talking to is using over 1 million disposable masks a month, which can be replaced by 60 thousand of our treated re-useable masks, and these can then be re-cycled instead of going to land fill sites.
Our AnyBrand HeiQ Viroblock treated masks are also more cost-effective than the alternatives and can be branded to suit any design.
Written by AnyBrand Co-founder – Colin Graham
This blog originally appeared in the Vision 2025 September 2020 newsletter.