This is the world’s first fully compostable, single use face mask

While standard face masks take up to 450 years to decompose, Masuku Daily masks will compost in around four weeks in water, earth or a plant pot.

15 February 2022

Pentatonic, the sustainable design and technology company, has teamed with fashion industry expert Natalia Vodianova to develop the “world’s first high-performance, fully compostable” face mask: the Masuku Daily. Face masks have fast become one of the key the single-waste design challenges of our time; Pentatonic states that globally we dispose of three million face masks every minute. While each face mask takes up to 450 years to decompose, Masuku’s Daily mask uses 100 per cent bio-based materials. So far, it is the only face mask which, when littered, leaves behind no trace.

While other masks on the market deteriorate, many leave behind microplastics, Masuku explains in a release. Meanwhile, Masuku Daily masks are made from degradable cellulosic materials and can be metabolised and digested back into the earth.

For the tech-savvy, the masks use a nano-fibre filtration material, created when bio-based polymers are spun into nano-fibres using a high electric voltage – which, for the rest of us, works similarly to a spider-web catching particles. The orange earloops are 100 per cent natural rubber and weaved with biodegradable yarn, whereas the nose grip is paper-coated iron wire.

“Not a single component is made from the type of materials found in other masks,” Johann Boedecker, CEO of Pentatonic states. “Each component has been re-engineered and selected for specific performance criteria and can be broken down naturally for example metabolised by bacteria. The consumer no longer has to choose between protecting themselves and protecting the planet.”

Not only does the tech behind Masuku Daily make it a fully sustainable product, it apparently makes it more comfortable too. Thanks to its non-woven fabric, the compostable material creates a “ventilated layer of air” and a “silk-like sensation on the face”, according to Masuku.

After being under development for three years, the masks are currently produced at Masuku’s AirLab factory in Rotherham, England. They are available for purchase on the Masuku website.

GalleryPentatonic and Natalia Vodianova: Masuku Daily (Copyright © Masuku, 2021)

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Pentatonic and Natalia Vodianova: Masuku Daily (Copyright © Masuku, 2021)

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About the Author

Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating from the University of Bristol, they worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, Indie magazine and design studio Evermade.

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