A concerning report released by Which?, discussing the best and worst reusable facemasks for shoppers to buy, has highlighted the ‘alarming flaws’ in the effectiveness of many. These facemasks are marketed as an amazing alternative to the single use plastic facemask. Granted, reusable face coverings are certainly a step ahead, but how reliable are they in the fight against COVID-19?
Amongst an array of notable brands, The Wise Protec – sold at John Lewis, Matalan and Home Bargains claims to have more than 90% filtration efficiency, however, Which? discovered its filtration levels were at 80% and dropped to the high 60s after washing. Another, the Etiquette face covering, filtered just 7% of particles!
What’s more, according to the YouGov research “just one in eight (13%) of those who wear washable, reusable facemasks are actually maintaining them in a way that is helpful to stopping the spread of the coronavirus.”
With shops, restaurants, stadiums and other businesses beginning to open up, one thing is for certain, facemasks are here to stay for the foreseeable future. So, what are the options?
1. Single use plastic 3-ply facemasks - high-levels of filtration and wear it just once, but they're here to stay for the next 450 years, and potentially beyond. The microplastics they contain aren’t going anywhere ever (or at least on their own)
2. Reusable facemasks - there are some fantastic reusable facemasks available, like the Airpop Pocket, highlighted by the consumer watchdog. However, they have a limited shelf-life and are only recommended to be used for up to 40 hours before discarding.
3. Henosis Masks - the best option in our opinion. Henosis Masks are 100% compostable so present a fantastic sustainable alternative that protect both people and the planet. Superbly high levels of filtration, you just wear a Henosis Mask once and simply dispose of it after use with your food waste or add to your hot composter and make your own organic fertiliser.
As Which? demonstrates, not all masks are created equally! There are plenty of options on the market, but not all will provide the same level of protection or maintain their effectiveness with long-term use. It's a fact that facemasks are going to be a part of our lives for quite a while longer, so we have to take a holistic look at what impact they have on not just keeping us healthy but what keeps the environment healthy too. If you're thinking about buying your next batch, consider checking out Henosis Masks as an eco-friendly and extremely safe option.