Hong Kong’s First 100% Biodegradable Medical Face Mask Dramatically Reduce Harms to the Environment and Wildlife

(Hong Kong. 22nd March 2022) Hong Kong environmental tech startup ÖKOSIX is glad to announce the roll out of Hong Kong’s first 100% biodegradable medical / surgical face mask “ÖKOSIX”. Since the start of COVID pandemic, the world's plastic production has soared to 367 million tons. The Stockholm Resilience Centre has found that the torrent of plastic waste worldwide has massively exceeded the safe limit for humanity and the planet, and production caps are urgently needed. According to the results of anaerobic biodegradation test (ASTM D5511), ÖKOSIX’s fabrics degraded more than half in 45 days under suitable conditions, which can greatly reduce the plastic pollution problem induced by disposable face mask wastes. In view of the recent surge of COVID cases, ÖKOSIX is giving away 1,000 sets of COVID Rapid Antigen Test Kits completely for free to the people in need.

Using biodegradable materials has become a global trend. Hong Kong's first fully and truly biodegradable face mask.

ÖKOSIX: From Nature to Nature

According to a study by University of Southern Denmark researchers, around 1500 billion disposable face masks (or 6 million tons of plastic wastes) are dumped into landfills every year globally, of which 1.6 billion end up in the ocean. Traditional disposable face masks are made of plastics (e.g. Polyethylene PE, Polypropylene PP and Vinyl etc.). Disposed face masks will eventually break up into notorious microplastics which directly kill marine life, contaminate the environment as well as the food chain, and could stay intact in the ocean for up to 1,000 years

It has become a global trend to replace single-use plastics with biodegradable materials. Due to technical constraints, some products in the market claiming to be biodegradable still contain plastics or other non-biodegradable materials, which take a long time to decompose. Thus, this does not effectively solve the plastic pollution problem. Pursuing a sustainable solution, ÖKOSIX commissioned the Nano and Advanced Materials Institute (a.k.a. NAMI) to develop fully biodegradable materials suitable for making medical-grade face masks. ÖKOSIX has made a profound technological breakthrough, by turning plant-based fibers and natural materials into fully biodegradable, plastic-free and medical-grade face masks. This face mask in its entirety (i.e. the fabrics, nose piece and ear loops), is fully and truly biodegradable. On top of the biodegradability requirement, the materials are also undergoing a more stringent ASTM standard for compostable materials: under suitable conditions, the materials degrade quickly into carbon dioxide, water and biomass, leaving no harmful residue, thus minimising the harm to the environment and wildlife. This innovation truly embraces the motto of ÖKOSIX: From Nature to Nature, protecting you and the environment at the same time.

To encourage the public to protect themselves in a way that also protect the Earth, ÖKOSIX Biodegradable Medical Face Mask will be sold at a price comparable to other face masks currently in the market. It is expected that this Hong Kong’s first 100% biodegradable medical / surgical face mask will be rolled out in Q2 of 2022. More details and test reports will be published soon.

Exceeding ASTM F2100 Level 3 requirement. Superior filtration efficiency and excellent breathability

ÖKOSIX biodegradable materials are undergoing the final validation stage of biodegradation and mask tests. According to interim results, ÖKOSIX’s materials have degraded >53.9% and >28% in just 45 days, in the anaerobic biodegradation test (ASTM D5511-18) and aerobic biodegradation and compostability test (ASTM D6400, EN 13432), respectively.

In terms of protection requirement, ÖKOSIX nanofiber layer attained ASTM F2100-19 Level 3 certification with BFE>99% and PFE>99%. The diameter of the nanofiber is about one-hundredth of human hair width, permitting excellent breathability as well as superior bacterial and viral filtration. ÖKOSIX’s mask production lines are qualified with ISO14644 Class 7 cleanroom (more stringent than Class 8) and ISO 13485 quality management systems. ÖKOSIX is applying for a patent for their innovative technology.

About ÖKOSIX. Research in Hong Kong. Made in Hong Kong

The green/sustainable face mask brand, ÖKOSIX, was established in 2021. It aims to bring its innovative technology to the world, eventually to become a world class brand of sustainability. 

As a Hong Kong startup, apart from making quality environmentally friendly products, ÖKOSIX also practices social responsibility by cooperating with NGOs to spread the message of sustainability and waste reduction in order to enhance public awareness and concepts such as "Biodegradable" and "Compostable".