Textiles lawmaker pioneers reusable maskLocal | Justin Tong 11 Mar 2020
Textile and garment sector lawmaker Felix Chung Kwok-pan has unveiled a newly invented fabric face mask that offers the same protection as a surgical mask and can be reused up to 60 times.
Chung, who took part in developing the mask, said it has passed anti-bacterial tests recognized by two leading international testing centers and can block at least four common bacteria in Hong Kong, including escherichia coli and staphylococcus aureus.
But the "anti-bacteria" mask is yet to go through another test by microbiologist Ho Pak-leung in order to determine whether it is "anti-viral" too. The results are expected in two weeks.
"If the mask can pass the test, it will be the first fabric mask in the world to be certified as anti-viral, which means it can also be used for medical purposes," Chung said.
He said Liberal Party honorary chairman James Tien Pei-chun had already bought the first batch of 20,000 masks from him, of which 1,000 were sent to the secretariat of the Legislative Council, while each lawmaker will receive 10 from him as well.
Chung revealed he plans to sell the masks at HK$100 each, which he claims is "the cheapest" reusable mask.
He said the masks are all hand-made locally by about 50 textile workers at three factories and that he is aiming at a production volume of 10,000 per day.
"We already have the raw materials for 500,000 masks and we are ordering more materials for one million masks," Chung added.
He said the mask is an "environmentally friendly" substitute that will help save 420 million disposable masks in two months, assuming each citizen uses one mask a day.
Chung started on his own mask production plan after giving up on a partnership with Polytechnic University in another reusable mask invention due to difficulty in procuring raw materials from the mainland. He said the raw materials for his current project were sourced from Europe with aid from the textile sector.
Meanwhile, a local mask production company, "Mask Factory," will start selling face masks from 5pm today at HK$20 for a box of 20.
The start-up company admitted that due to the limited scale of production, each person can only purchase one box at a time, and orders will be delivered within Hong Kong only.