Face masks are almost always made from plastic-derived materials, meaning they are not biodegradable — and a lot of face masks are going in the trash right now.
Abaca fiber masks have a high filtration rate and lower moisture absorption rate as compared to cloth face masks.
Abaca leaf fiber Face Masks are reusable and made from a biodegradable material: abaca leaf fibers, a plant similar to the banana tree, which is durable and is also used in the production of paper money.
As reported by Bloomberg, abaca is as strong as polyester — but unlike polyester, it can decompose in just two months. The fiber is commonly used to make things like teabags and banknotes (cash money).
The Philippines’ Department of Science and Technology (DOST-X) published a study analyzing the efficacy of the abaca masks in comparison to other masks. The mask’s fiber structures, pore sizes, water repellency, and water absorbency via Water Drop Tests, which were then analyzed under a microscope. The researchers found that the abaca face masks absorbed 3 to 5 percent of the total water applied.