When COVID-19 hit and there was a shortage of face masks worldwide, researchers at the BioProducts Institute at the University of British Columbia took the initiative to design their own N95 mask. Not only can it be entirely sourced in Canada and made from Canadian trees, but it could potentially be “the world’s first fully compostable and biodegradable medical mask.”
The new mask, nicknamed “Canadian-Mask, or Can-Mask,” was designed back in March. Right from the start, the researchers knew they wanted a solution that taps into local resources, is easy to produce, and cost-effective. Also, the fact that it’s compostable and biodegradable was a huge plus.
Join us on our LinkedIn Page
The mask frame is made entirely from B.C. wood fibers taken from an array of Canadian trees, including pine, spruce, cedar and other softwoods. There are reportedly two prototypes – one that uses a commercial N95 filter on the front of the mask, and the other uses a filter specially designed by the UBC team from wood-based products. Both prototypes are currently being tested.