Montreal, Quebec-based FPInnovations has successfully developed a biodegradable mask ready to be manufactured in Canada and ready for public use.

The collaborative research and scientific innovation between FPInnovations and its partners has resulted in the development of a fully biodegradable mask using its unique pilot-scale paper-machine. In addition of the mask filtering materials, FPInnovations has identified and successfully incorporated elastic ear loops and nose pieces that are biodegradable. An important part of the success is also that the mask components can be assembled readily on existing commercial mask-converting machines.

“Biodegradable masks made from Canada’s sustainably managed forests: what a great example of the ingenuity of Canada’s forest sector. Keeping Canadians safe, and protecting our environment,” said Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Natural Resources Canada, as he announced the successful results of the $3.3 million investment entrusted to FPInnovations.

FPInnovations introduces Canada’s first ready-to-produce biodegradable and eco-friendly non-medical mask. (Image credit: CNW Group/FPInnovations)

The green Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) mask has been assessed by external labs according to international norms, and would set the standard for non-medical masks in terms of filtration, breathability, and biodegradability. With its unique product design, FPInnovations has also recently attained the more demanding ASTM norms of filtration efficiency and breathability that are required for procedure masks.

“The development of a biodegradable mask clearly shows that stimulating the bioeconomy can contribute to a cleaner environment in Canada,” said Stéphane Renou, president and chief executive officer of FPInnovations.The outstanding collective scientific and technological expertise of the forest sector has been key to the success and speed of this project, and is proof that together, we are capable of bringing eco-friendly bio-sourced products through the pipeline from research to market within just months.”

FPInnovations is a private not-for-profit research and development centre with professional researchers who create solutions in support of the Canadian forest sector’s global competitiveness. It is ideally positioned to perform state-of-the-art research, develop advanced technologies, and deliver innovative solutions to complex problems for every area of the sector’s value chain, from forest operations to consumer and industrial products. Its R&D laboratories are located in Québec City, Montreal, and Vancouver, and it has technology-transfer offices across Canada.

FPInnovations is associated with Innoventures Canada (I-CAN), a non-for-profit consortium that aims to improve Canada’s performance in commercializing research and that includes Canada’s top RTOs.

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