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MAS+: Our guide to being sustainable

MAS+ prioritizes sustainability and social responsibility. With the onset of the pandemic, there was an increase in single-use PPE as medical professionals around the world battled the virus together. In the UK itself, more than 10 million disposable PPE items are used daily and between February and July 2020, more than 2.3 billion pieces of single use PPE was distributed to health and social care services in England which is the total amount that was used in 2019[1].

MAS+ recognized the need to produce sustainable PPE that would protect our communities and save our planet.

Why are single-use PPE problematic?

Single use disposable PPE is thrown into our environment including parks, roads and the ocean. These can take up to 450 years to decompose[2]. As PPE is not recyclable or biodegradable, it is treated as waste after wear and disposing of single use PPE involves incineration which further contributes to global warming. Further, wildlife gets entangled in strings of disposable masks and marine animals such as turtles and dolphins choke on it, mistaking it for food.

While single-use PPE is cheap, in the long run, reusable PPE due to its durability and reusability, is a cost effective and more sustainable long-term solution. Reusable PPE can be washed and reused over 70 times.

What is MAS+ doing to combat this?

Our range of reusable PPE maintains the highest levels of protection to ensure the safety of the wearer. The products are made from 100% woven polyester with an acrylic coating to maintain durability and comfort. To ensure fluid repellency, environmentally friendly chemicals are used as opposed to the harmful chemical, fluorine. The PPE can be washed up to 70 - 100 times thereby making it a long-term sustainable solution.

Our reusable masks filter 98% of external bacteria while ensuring durability, comfort and protection through an eclectic blend of natural and synthetic materials.

Being aware of the environmental damage caused by disposable PPE, MAS+ is constantly looking to source more sustainable and biodegradable materials which can provide equal or better functionality than the existing product in the market. We take a holistic approach to developing sustainable PPE, we ensure that even the packaging is sustainable. 

Standards and Awards

Our work in developing sustainable PPE is a product of the mindset of our parent company who have embedded sustainability into their DNA as highlighted through the “Plan for Change”. MAS Holdings is dedicated to improving our products, our people and our planet to ensure that we follow sustainable and ethical processesOur main aim in producing sustainable products such as the biodegradable PPE kits is to reduce waste and protect the environment and those who wear it.

This project was inspired following several projects undertaken by MAS Holdings to manufacture apparel from recycled yarn that was gathered from plastics found in the ocean waters around Sri Lanka. Additionally, we have ISO 50001 Energy Management and ISO 14001 Environmental Management System certifications.

The global fashion industry is responsible for 20% of waste water and 10% of global carbon emissions. Additionally, textile dyeing is the second largest water polluter in the world. 

We didn’t want to be a part of this figure.

Over 47% of our operations run on renewable energy and we aim to generate more renewable energy than we use by 2025. To reduce our water usage, we use water-free dyeing processes and by 2025 we aim to drop our water intensities by 75% through innovation and efficiencies.

Our communities and people are key to who we are, which is why we want to ensure everyone in our organization and outside of it are well-looked after. MAS Holdings is a member of the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) which monitors and assesses workplace standards across the global supply chain. We are also an SA8000 Ethically Correct Certified Company which means that we have been certified to be dedicated to the fair treatment of our workers. Additionally, we are a member of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) which further solidifies our commitment to ethical and sustainable manufacturing.

Our constant contribution to the community and planet has made us an internationally recognized organization around the world which is further highlighted by the below awards.

  • Humanitarian Award at Femmy Awards - 2019
  • Awarded business organization supportive towards Women’s Empowerment and Leadership - 2014
  • Leadership Award “Champion of Women’s Empowerment Principles” - 2013
  • American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) Excellence in Social Responsibility (ESR) Award - 2005

MAS+ continuously strives to innovate and drive change to ensure that we are manufacturing sustainable masks and PPE while protecting its wearers and the world they live in.

Sources

[1] theconversation.com
[2] www.wastefreeoceans.org