The BioMask™ is made with a proprietary biodegradable nonwoven material that has been certified to meet ASTM F2100-20 requirements for medical-grade face masks.
June 15, 2021 | WATERLOO, ON - The Canadian Shield, a Class-1 medical device manufacturer, announced today the launch of their new BioMask™ line of face masks. The BioMask™, available in ASTM Level 1, 2, & 3, aims to combat the impacts of plastic medical waste in landfills by offering a product that can degrade in a landfill.
As a result of COVID-19, the use of disposable face masks has increased significantly, both in healthcare and everyday use. In Canada alone, it’s estimated that tens of millions of disposable face masks are disposed of daily. This increase of single-use plastics in the landfill has the potential to cause detrimental effects on the environment. Polypropylene, a type of plastic that’s often used in traditional disposable masks, can take hundreds of years to degrade in the landfill.
The BioMask™ is a revolutionary innovation in face masks. It offers the same form and function as traditional medical-grade masks, but in a biodegradable format. The nonwoven material in the BioMask™ has been tested in accordance with the ASTM D5511-18 standard to biodegrade up to 6.5% in 44 days. The biodegradation rates may change based on the landfill conditions present.
Currently, the majority of traditional medical-grade face masks in healthcare are procured through multi-year contracts with overseas manufacturers. In order to distribute the BioMask™ into hospitals, The Canadian Shield is in the process of finalizing innovation contracts with national Shared Service Organizations and Group Purchasing Organizations. This will allow Canadian hospitals and municipalities across the country to purchase the BioMask™ at competitive rates, in line with existing overseas contracts.
The BioMask™ represents an important addition to The Canadian Shield’s long-term strategy to lessen the impacts of medical waste on our environment. It joins an established line of products, which includes their reusable face shield and recyclable Vizor, as simple, innovative products that reduce PPE waste and consumption.
“We’re proud to add biodegradable face masks to our line of innovative PPE offerings. Creating sustainable medical device products is core to our mission and aligns with our team’s values”, says CEO Jeremy Hedges.
The BioMask™ is particularly unique because of its ability to anaerobically biodegrade in the landfill, meaning it does not require oxygen to break down. In most landfills, where waste is compacted layer upon layer, it can be difficult for oxygen to reach below the surface. The anaerobic biodegradability of the BioMask™ allows for degradation in the landfill, which is where the majority of disposable PPE ends up.
Starting in July, The Canadian Shield will begin transitioning their mask manufacturing lines, equipped with industry-leading automation and vision systems, over to the new proprietary blend of biodegradable material.
The Canadian Shield is actively developing a series of other products using this proprietary biodegradable nonwoven material. The company expects to deliver a steady stream of product launches throughout 2021 as they expand their domestic manufacturing capacity.
“This is an important step towards addressing medical waste in Canada, and we’ll continue to expand our product portfolio to have even more impact”, says CEO Jeremy Hedges.
ABOUT THE CANADIAN SHIELD
The Canadian Shield is a Waterloo Region based Class 1 medical device manufacturing company that specializes in the design and production of personal protective equipment for healthcare. The company is on a mission to build a sustainable future for medical device manufacturing in Canada and position the country as a leader in the industry when it comes to manufacturing, product sustainability and innovation.
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