A mask that grows into a tree:

making eco-friendly goods as his project generates employment in and around Pakshikere hamlet of Dakshina Kannada district One of the lasting images of the pandemic is surgical masks discarded everywhere — from markets to pristine beaches.
Now, a company wants to spin this into something beneficial for the environment.

Paper Seed Co, a social enterprise from the outskirts of Mangaluru in southern Karnataka, has come up with a face mask that will not only protect people from the virus, but when discarded, will bloom into a plant. The innovative eco-friendly idea has struck a chord with the public and has created a huge buzz online.

Founder Nitin Vas said cotton masks are actually made from recycled rags. “The outer cover is made from cotton plup utilising various scrap materials collected from the garment industry, and the inner linings are made from soft cotton cloth. They are thick enough, and effective to prevent infection,” he explained to indianexpress.com over telephone.

“Masks are essential for humans but they are also creating problems for other species. Although made from cotton, his masks are single-use only. Once used, one simply needs to throw them in the soil, water it a little and in a few days, it will hopefully grow into a plant.

ALSO READ |Medical masks or fabric masks: WHO shares guidelines on who should wear what As the company already had the knowledge of making paper embedded with plant seeds, they used it to take it a step forward and implement it in cotton materials.

it takes another 12 hours to dry. Then each mask is cut out by hand using stencils and stitched. So, I would say, it’s fairly priced,” he added. Now the number is not even 10 per cent. “Because it has seeds, our product can’t be stored for a very long time. When lockdown happened we had to discard huge batches of seed paper which we failed to deliver,” Vas said.

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