Abstract

The purpose of this paper is the comparison of the environmental performance between a reusable face mask, made from British Wool, a single-use conventional mask, made of polypropylene (PP), and a reusable cotton mask, using Life Cycle Assessment. The analysis revealed that although one woollen mask has higher environmental impact than a single-use PP mask, its reusable nature makes it more environmentally friendly in the long term. Over the period of one year, the carbon footprint of the woollen face mask use is approximately 46% lower than the use of a conventional single-use PP mask, whereas the water depletion is approximately 28% lower. The production cost of one woollen face mask with an active filtration layer is £0.89 and the annual expenses for an individual are estimated to be 54% lower compared to the daily purchase and use of conventional PP masks. Looking forward to a potential scaled up production of the woollen face masks, the most critical parameters that need to be considered in terms of the environmental impact are the metal component used in the active layer and the wool, whereas for the cost the most significant factor is the energy used for steam and hot water production.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100084
Number of pages10
JournalCleaner Environmental Systems
Volume6
Early online date8 Jul 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Jul 2022

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