Pollulate is face wrap containing a growable filter. The filter is planted instead of thrown out and grows into an indian mustard plant that absorbs particulate matter in the soil.
With the exponentially growing number of COVID-19 cases every day, the demand for facial protection continues to surge. It is estimated within the past month that the domestic demand for n95 respirators in China is between 50-60 million units daily. The n95 filter is produced with petroleum-based nonwoven material. A single n95 filter can last for 8 hours of use and takes approximately 300 years to degrade its polyethylene films in soil. The construction and waste generation of these synthetic fabric-based devices inherently degrades the environment.
Pollulate not only protects an individual when worn but further protects their surrounding environment from further destruction. When the filter can no longer be used, its growable technology absorbs the pollutants collected.
Pollulate's filter contains indian mustard seed between layers of filtration material and a liner. According to the Interstate Technology & Regulatory Council Phytotechnologies Team, the indian mustard plant utilizes phytoremediation to absorb contaminants in soil by 75%. the indian mustard seed is small as to remain unnoticed during filter use and native to areas in Asia with high demand for filters. The filtration material is composed of soy and bacterial cellulose to successfully capture microparticle and chemical pollutants while remaining biodegradable. Plain weave linen is rapidly biodegradable and works as a thin backing remaining breathable and securing the seeds.
The impact of a growable filter is immensely influenced by the wrap in which the filter is worn. Through my design process, I explored and tested various ways to house this filter in a comfortable and stylish way. The final design of Pollulate features cord locking construction to ensure comfort and a secure seal around any facial structure. The wrap nature of its design allows the device to be worn around the neck when not in use. This universal fit provides adjustability to reach a wide range of consumers, and thus greater impact in protecting the environment.