A 23-year-old furniture design student from South Korea has come up with a solution through which he could recycle the waste generated by disposable face masks.
After being bothered by the waste generated through masks, Kim Ha-neul, who belongs to South Korea's Uiwang, wanted to find a way through which he could upcycle them.
Kim who is majoring in furniture design melted around 1,500 discarded masks to make a stool which he calls "Stack and Stack".
"Plastic is recyclable, so why don't we recycle face masks, which are made of plastic?" asks Kim as reported by Reuters.
For collecting masks, Kim set up a collection box at the Kaywon University of Art and Design in Uiwang city, south of Seoul.
Since then, he collected 10,000 used masks and also received more than 1,000 kilograms of defective pieces from a factory as well.
In order to decrease the risk of transmission from the masks, Kim maintains to keep them in storage for at least four days.
After storing the masks, he removes elastic bands and wires from them. He wields a heat gun over the masks in a mould, melting them down at temperatures over 300 degrees Celsius. After the entire process is completed, three-legged stools are prepared, which Kim also recently displayed at his graduation exhibition at the university.
Apart from the stools, Kim also plans to make other furniture pieces such as chairs, tables and lights.
As per the government data, South Korea produced more than a billion face masks for domestic use in the month of September alone.
Kim wants to send a strong message through his work so that environment-friendly methods are adopted.
Though the stools are not yet for sale, fellow students were impressed by the idea and rough-surfaced design.