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Recycled face masks used to create a colourful stool collection

Colourful stools made from face masks
Colour range of stools made from recycled surgical masks
Close up view of stool leg made from recycled face masks

South Korean furniture designer Hanuel Kim decided to create the stools when he saw the volume of masks being thrown into landfill he asked, how can I solve this? Every month, 129 billion single use face masks are being used throughout the pandemic. These masks will eventually end up in landfill or in our oceans and will become microplastics, which can seriously harm animals and human life.

Called Stack and Stack (in pandemic, 2020), 1,500 recycled face masks are used to create each stool, with 250 masks used to create the legs and 750 masks required for the seat.

Face masks to be recycled into stool
Processing face masks to make into stools
Heat gun used to melt face masks for stool

The disposable surgical masks have triple filters which are made of almost 98% polypropylene which melts when heated. These filters are melted into a mould, with each mask stacked on top of each other to create the stools. Kim uses hot air only to melt the masks which means the chairs are made solely from masks, with no need for glue or resin. The white, black, blue and pink colours of the stools comes from the original colours of the masks as they retain their original colour when melted so no dyes are added.

He hopes that his designs can inspire the mass collection and recycling of these recycled face masks so that there can be many people working to solve the problem of what to do with all the waste before it becomes microplastics.

Related project: The Confetti range by Design By Them is made from 100% recycled plastic. Read about it here

Stack of colourful stools made from recycled face masks
Colour range of stools made from recycled melted face masks
Underside of white stool made from melted recycled face masks
Texture of melted face masks made into stool
Multi-coloured stool made from recycled melted face masks
Close up of black and pink stools made from recycled face masks
Images courtesy of Hanuel Kim

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