Scuba Diving Group Swamped With Orders for Its Face Masks Made From Recycled Ocean Plastic

Photo by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors

With face masks being in such high demand amongst the novel coronavirus outbreaks, one company has taken a more eco-friendly approach to supplying the public with protective masks.

The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) has partnered with sustainable sportswear company Rash’r to make face masks out of plastic pollution that has been salvaged from the ocean.

Each mask is sold with five replacement filters at the cost of $20.40—which is just enough to cover the costs of manufacturing.

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“We are not profiting from this product,” Lisa Nicklin, vice president of consumer marketing at PADI Worldwide told CNN. “We’re very much a heart-and-soul organization. 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.”

Since the CDC now recommends that people wear cloth face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in public places, PADI’s masks offer a sustainable alternative to the limited supplies of N95 respirator masks that are being reserved for healthcare workers on the front lines of the pandemic.

In addition to the masks featuring a number of ocean-themed designs, PADI has even developed a children’s mask for kids aged 4 to 10. All the masks are machine-washable and produced with dual-polyester layers to support the replaceable filters.

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Since the company has been inundated with more than 15,000 mask pre-orders in a matter of weeks—which has helped recycle more than 1,300 pounds of ocean pollution—Nicklin told CNN that they are now ramping up their manufacturing to accommodate additional orders.

This is just one of many positive stories and updates that are coming out of the COVID-19 news coverage this week. For more uplifting coverage on the outbreaks, click here.

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