Canadian forestry invents biodegradable mask filter, aims for full mask by Christmas

masks

A Quebec-based forestry innovation organization says it has figured out how to make a single-use face mask filter out of fully-biodegradable wood products.
     
Stephane Renou, the president of FPInnovations Inc., says it could be a game-changer for the environment and for a made-in-Canada supply of masks.
     
``The impact could be massive,'' he said, in an interview. ``The amount of masks used around the world is just gigantic.''
     
Earlier this year an article in the journal Environmental Science and Technology estimated that during the COVID-19 pandemic people are throwing out 129 billion face masks every month, some of which become litter that eventually washes into oceans.
     
Canada alone has ordered more than 153 million N95 respirators, almost 400 million surgical masks and 18 million non-medical face masks. That doesn't include demand from the private sector.
     
The FPInnovations filter won't meet either N95 or surgical-mask standards, though Renou said that work is ongoing.