A washable and reusable
antibacterial face mask
made of biomass-based yarn
Most of the masks are single use plastic
"Most of the disposable face masks are made of petroleum-derived plastic such as polypropylene.
The volume of petroleum-derived plastic used for general use face masks in Japan is estimated to be about 10,000 metric tons *1. This is as many as the pens and fishing nets annually consumed in Japan *2, or half of the straws annually consumed in Europe *3.
Disposable masks are ending up in ocean
As reported by Reuters, appropriate disposal of face masks are becoming more and more critical as there are masks reported to be washed out to sea and ending up on beaches, as face mask consumption increases. *4
Thrown away face masks are also found in town in Tokyo as well, as the infection spreads. *5
- TBM and Bioworks have developed Bio Face,
a washable and reusable face mask made of PLA (polylactic acid),
a biomass-based renewable material.
Mildly acidic and antibacterial
Bio Face masks are made of PLA yarn, which is mildly acidic (close to human skin), and antibacterial. *6
A PLA yarn is a safe and highly biocompatible material, and is also used for medical suture that degrades in human body and does not require to be removed after surgery.
Bio Face is washable and reusable, and can be washed for about 30 times. By reusing the masks, disposal of masks can be reduced, leading to reduction of marine pollution.
Comfortable and fits to face
TBM and Bioworks collaborated with SHIMA SEIKI MFG., LTD., the world’s leading manufacturer of knitting machines. Bio Face is knitted three dimensionally with the WHOLEGARMENT machine (the seamless knitting machine of SHIMA SEIKI MFG.) etc., using the PLA yarn developed through collaboration among the three parties.
Bio Face masks are comfortable and fit the shape of face, since they have a 3D knit shape that leaves room around the mouth. Bio Face masks help to prevent spray from coughing and sneezing. Bio Face masks have less stress to ears since the straps are knitted together seamlessly.""Bio Face"" is applied for trademark registration by Bioworks Co., Ltd
Safe for human and environment
PLA (Poly Lactic Acid) is compatible with the Japanese Food Sanitation Act, Notification # 370 provided by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, and is listed on the positive list provided by Japan Hygienic Olefin And Styrene Plastics Association. PLA is also approved by US FDA at Food Contact Notification No. 178.
The lactic acid, monomer of PLA, exists in human body as well. The oligomer is also confirmed to be safe.
Biomass based and biodegradable
PLA is a biomass based plastic made from biomass resource such as corn starch, and biodegrades in industrial compost environments. By using PLA, it is possible to drastically reduce the use of petroleum oil.
PLA emits less CO2 compared with traditional petroleum-based plastic when burned (based on calculation from their chemical structure). PLA hardly degrades in normal environments, and therefore can be used for a prolonged time.
3 sizes, original color possible
There are 3 sizes available - XS (for children), S, and M. It is possible to customize the color, and to add company names and logos by stitching (for bulk orders only). *8
Raw material: PLA (polylactic acid). For ear loop and frame, polyurethane and nylon are used partially.
Sizes: XS (for children), S and M
Suggested retail price: 1,500 Japanese Yen (not including VAT), 1 mask per package
Production country: Japan and outside of Japan
Color: dyeing possible for bulk order (base color is planned to be gray, possible to add logos by stitching)
Production capacity: Up to 100 thousand masks per month, targeted by July 2020
- Bio Face does not block the invasion of virus splashes and pollen in the air.
- It is recommended to install a commercially available virus cut filter to block the invasion of viruses and pollen.
- Antibacterial means ""to suppress bacterial growth on the surface of the product,"" and does not mean to kill or decontaminate the bacteria.
- Hand wash is recommended when washing, and if washed with a washing machine please put the mask in a laundry net.
- Please note that the product shape may change, if the mask is washed with a washing machine.
- Please do not use dryers, bleach nor softening agents. Please use a neautral detergent for washing.
- Please do not expose the mask to direct sunlight when drying.
- We do not accept return or exchange after purchase. Thank you for your understanding.
* Estimated by TBM. The production volume of household use masks in Japan was 4,284 million pieces in 2018, and it is estimated that over 90% of face masks are non-woven disposal masks (Source: Japan Hygiene Products Industry Association website).
* Mitsubishi Research Institute, Inc., 2011
* Estimated by TBM, based on Seas at Risk（2017）”Single-use Plastics and the Marine Environment”
* Reuters（2020）”Discarded coronavirus masks clutter Hong Kong's beaches, trails”
* The Asahi Shimbun Digital（2020/4/21）
* The antibacterial persistence is based on the test results of the Nissenken Quality Evaluation Center.
* The washing durability is based on the test results of Bioworks Co., Ltd as of April 27th. The test is still contiuing to check the washing durability over 20 times.
* We accept orders starting at 5,000 face masks.