(SPOT.ph) Many local brands have attempted to help aid the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic by producing protective face masks using their own materials and resources. We've seen all kinds of masks on the market—from masks with aesthetically pleasing designs to masks inspired by pop culture to masks made from excess fabric scraps. Here's the most recent variation to pop up on our radar: Misamis Oriental-based social enterprise Salay Handmade Paper Industries Inc. teamed up with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to create what they call 7XB fiber masks to be distributed to frontliners. These protective face masks are made from abaca, an eco-friendly fiber that's produced right here in the Philippines!
According the the Philippine Information Agency, these masks were tested by the Department of Science and Technology and the results of the test showed that they are "seven times better than the normal cloth face mask when it comes to filtration and protection." Abaca fiber is also eco-friendly and sustainable—not to mention, it helps support local businesses and industries. The versatile material is also used to make personal protective equipment as well as in a multitude of other ways. According to the Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority, the Philippines provides "87% of the world’s requirement" of the material, which is used in cordage, specialty papers, textiles, furniture, handicrafts, novelty items, cosmetics, and more, "bringing in an average revenue of P4.7 billion annually."
You can learn more about the face masks and the benefits of abaca fiber with this cool video: