Most of the disposable face masks are made of petroleum-derived plastic such as polypropylene. The volume of petroleum-derived plastic used for general use face masks in Japan is estimated to be about 10,000 metric tons*1. This is as many as the pens and fishing nets annually consumed in Japan *2, or half of the straws annually consumed in Europe *3.
*1 Estimated by TBM. The production volume of household use masks in Japan was 4,284 million pieces in 2018, and it is estimated that over 90% of face masks are non-woven disposal masks (Source: Japan Hygiene Products Industry Association website). *2 Estimated by TBM, based on Mitsubishi Research Institute, Inc., 2011 *3 Estimated by TBM, based on Seas at Risk（2017）”Single-use Plastics and the Marine Environment”
Disposable masks are ending up in ocean
As reported by Reuters, appropriate disposal of face masks are becoming more and more critical as there are masks reported to be washed out to sea and ended up on beaches, as face mask consumption increases.
Thrown away face masks are also found in town in Tokyo as well, as the infection spreads.
* Reuters（2020）”Discarded coronavirus masks clutter Hong Kong's beaches, trails” * The Asahi Shimbun Digital（2020/4/21）
TBM and Bioworks have developed Bio Face, a washable and reusable face mask made of PLA (polylactic acid), a biomass-based renewable material.
PLA (Poly Lactic Acid) is compatible with the Japanese Food Sanitation Act, Notification # 370 provided by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, and is listed on the positive list provided by Japan Hygienic Olefin And Styrene Plastics Association. PLA is also approved by US FDA at Food Contact Notification No. 178.The lactic acid, monomer of PLA, exists in human body as well.
Biomass based and biodegradable
PLA is a biomass based plastic made from biomass resource such as corn starch, and biodegrades in industrial compost environments. By using PLA, it is possible to drastically reduce the use of petroleum oil.
PLA emits less CO2 compared with traditional petroleum-based plastic when burned (based on calculation from their chemical structure). PLA hardly degrades in normal environments, and therefore can be used for a prolonged time.
TBM and Bioworks are developing an antivirus mask filter, targeting to launch in June 2020.
With a pocket knitted, Bio Face masks can be equipped with commercially available virus filters, cotton gauze, and similar accessories, in order to add functionality.
Bio Face Lite
Bio Face Cool
Bio Face Lite Cool
◎ 3D knitted
◎ 3D knitted
Pocket for virus filter
White or Gray
White or Gray
Suggested Retail Price*
*Discount prices will be offered for bulk orders (not including VAT)