Dive training agency PADI has teamed up with Rash'R, a company that sells eco-friendly active wear, to produce reusable face masks that are made from recycled plastic bottles.
In a dual offensive, the partnership not only helps remove plastic waste that could have ended up in the oceans, but also produces face masks to meet demand for such items during the COVID-19 pandemic (the US government now recommends that people wear face masks and coverings in public).
The masks, which come in five different designs based on marine animals, such as whale sharks, manta rays and great white sharks, are also available in a child-size (for ages 4-10). Each mask costs US$20.40 and comes with five replacement filters.
Lisa Nicklin, vice-president of consumer marketing at PADI Worldwide, was quick to explain that the company is not profiting off this initiative. “We're very much a heart-and-soul organisation. We care about the ocean and our diver community, so we wanted to be able to put our hands on our hearts and say that we're not profiting off this difficult time,” she said. “The price reflects the cost it takes to make each mask.”
Some 15,000 masks have already been pre-ordered, and Rash'R have had to ramp up production to meet demand. Order masks here.
Another positive is that by buying reusable face masks like these, people can adhere to the advice from the government, while reserving the N95 respirator masks and surgical masks for the healthcare workers on the frontline against the COVID-19 pandemic.