Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, face mask use has been made mandatory to slow the spread of the virus in addition to maintaining personal hygiene and maintaining social distance. But of late, the disposal of face masks has left many concerned. By throwing away used face masks, people are not only risking further infection, but are also trapping birds in those mask strings.

It has been over a year since the pandemic cornered the world population, claimed millions of lives and infected many more. Even as the vaccine has arrived, the virus continues to exist and spread. Use of face masks is extremely important, but disposing of them right is equally important.

Seeing the pattern of how people are just throwing away their face masks on roads, streets and everywhere, a woman from the Netherlands came up with a brilliant idea of biodegradable masks, which bloom into flowers after use.

Face mask that bloom into flowers

Marie Bee Blooms face masks

Marie Bee Blooms offer a refreshing take on the surgical face masks, which have practically become an extension of ourselves. But they are 100 percent biodegradable, eco-friendly and can help you plant a garden. Wondering how? Let's find out.

Marie Bee Blooms are made of rice paper with flower seeds, which are attached to the face using a sheep's wool cord instead of elastic bands we most commonly see on regular face masks. Marianne de Groot-Pons, a graphic designer living and working in Utrecht, who is the brains behind this idea has made sure the face masks are totally eco-friendly, right down to the ink used to print the logo and the glue which holds the seeds in place.

After you're done using the face masks, all you need to do is bury it in the soil or even a plant pot. The right way to do it is to detach the wool cords before planting the mask. This will bloom into flowers as if like a reward for discarding the face mask right.

But Marianne has also considered the fact that not all of its customers would plant the face masks, which is why it is worth noting that throwing them away will still have less harm on the environment. But littering must be avoided, especially when you get beautiful flowers as a reward for that little bit of extra work.

A man wearing a protective face mask runs by graffiti in Brick Lane, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, London, Britain, April 18, 2020.Reuters

"For weeks I fell on blue disposable masks, thrown on the streets and sidewalks, so I woke up one morning with the idea of a biodegradable face mask with flower seeds on it. Thus, the earth remains happy, the bees, nature, people also happy. I am selling the mask with the name Marie Bee Bloom. And the world will flourish!" she said.

Marianne says her face masks are just as effective, but they aren't cheap. They cost $3.50 a pop, which is costlier than N95 masks. It's worth your while if you do a candle test to gauge its effectiveness against other face masks available in the market. Also consider double masking to be safe as per health experts' advice.