The Disposable Mask Task


The outbreak of COVID has forced fear and caution onto the modern-day consumer who now values their safety and wellbeing more than previously. This has resulted in the overproduction of disposable face masks. These masks have found their way to the oceanfront and the elasticated strings are becoming tangled around the limbs of marine animals. My design solution involves repurposing the unused masks and cutting the strings off them to create a plant holding system using methods of crochet with the straps. These plant holders will absorb water for continuous nourishment and sustainability. 

Your input/suggestions would benefit me greatly!

What do you think?

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Niloy Bal @ 2021.03.10 8:54 PM
This is a great idea. Looking forward to seeing this come to market.

Lynn Wood @ 2021.03.12 4:14 AM
A similar idea from South Korea

Adar @ 2021.03.21 2:01 PM

This is a great idea Phoebe. We should all look for ways to reduce our disposable face masks ending up in natural habitats and damaging eco systems. 

Sabra Brock @ 2021.03.21 7:21 PM
Like the idea.  Please illustrate some examples, for example, a t-shirt or jacket with different colors and patterns of masks embossed on them, or a mixing bowl with the same.

Deyan Stamatov @ 2021.03.22 6:28 PM
I wonder if they could be used for crafts, like reusable bags etc.

Sabra Brock @ 2021.03.22 6:55 PM
The disposable bags a good idea.  What would be the next steps to explore it?  How about searching for organizations that make these bags.  Also need to search if the idea is already being implemented.

Lynn Wood @ 2021.03.23 6:23 PM

A related idea that could be helpful

lavanya@principals @ 2021.03.24 6:09 AM

A very interesting idea Phoebe, addressing a really pressing issue we face today. You might find the following framework helpful when thinking about your idea -

Desirability: What's desirable from a human, environmental and organisational perspective? 

Feasibility: What's technically possible? What resources do we need? 

Viability: What can we do that is sustainable now and into the future? 

Circular: How does it achieve the outcomes we need to see? 

You have identified the problem. A great place to start is the 'Desirability' circle, try to answer the questions:

Who is your target market (i.e.) the people you are designing for? What are their needs? What value are you providing for these people (that's unique from what already exists)? For example: Are you provide more convenience to them in some way, therefore helping them save time? Are you providing security or safety that previously did not exist? 

Read more about using this framework here:

Looking forward to seeing how you go! 

Sabra Brock @ 2021.03.24 5:22 PM

Here is an idea for mask reuse from Gov Cuomo's daily letter:

Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment": Memory quilts can be made of anything—even PPE. To honor the memory of the struggle New Yorkers endured throughout the pandemic, the Village of Mamaroneck Arts Council started a mask quilt project collecting decorated face masks from the community. The eight-foot by five-foot quilt showcases around 250 hand-painted masks designed by Mamaroneck residents as young as five and as old as 85 and is currently displayed at the Rye Neck High School Library in Westchester County. 
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ReadyFundGo @ 2021.03.30 5:42 AM

Well done Phoebe - it is a great idea. I completely agree it is such a problem for marine life.

I wonder if you could make some fun shopping bags - maybe string bags for people to take to the supermarkets?

Let us know if you would like to use crowdfunding at any point to help get your idea off the ground as we would be happy to help.

Best wishes, Jill

Phoebe @ 2021.05.05 5:05 AM
Lynn Wood @ 2021.03.12 4:14 AM
A similar idea from South Korea

Lynn Wood @ 2021.03.23 6:23 PM

A related idea that could be helpful

Thanks so much, Lynn, these articles have been fabulous for the development of my design!

Phoebe @ 2021.05.05 5:07 AM
Adar @ 2021.03.21 2:01 PM

This is a great idea Phoebe. We should all look for ways to reduce our disposable face masks ending up in natural habitats and damaging eco systems.

--> I agree, thankyou Adar so much for the support!

Phoebe @ 2021.05.05 5:10 AM
R Hainsworth @ 2021.03.22 7:50 AM

Hi there Phoebe. This is a great idea but I am not sure what your 'ask' is? How can industry help? What can businesses or community do to help? If you could clarify that would be very helpful.

Thank you for your support. I am hoping that people can be inspired by my idea and see the possibilities and innovation that it possesses. As a result of this, I'm hoping that people can offer me support and suggestions as to how I can further improve my design.

Phoebe @ 2021.05.05 5:11 AM


Thankyou for this fantastic creative idea, this will be a great help for the development of my project!

R Hainsworth @ 2021.09.09 2:23 AM

Good morning Phoebe, hope all is well with you and your loved ones. 

Congratulations on your MDP journey. It has been so interesting to follow the impacts of this discussion thread and postitive impact your project is having. We hope that being part of the UpRising initiative has been rewarding and meaningful for you too. 

As we wrap up the trial phase of the UpRising initiative and head towards the awards night in November I have a few quick questions.  If you could answer these questoins in a comment below that would be so great. We want to understand how UpRising assisted you so that we can etter help next year's cohort of designers. We are also curious to know if there is anything further you would like to do with your project.

1.      What were two interesting things that you experienced or found as a result of being part of the UpRising? 

2.      How did UpRising help you with your project?

3.      What would you like to do with your project and what would help you get there?

4.      How did seeing other UpRising projects affect your designing and learning experience? 

5.      What would you like to see added to the UpRising initiative to better help next year's students?

Congratulations once again and looking forward to seeing you in November. You have done an amazing job and we are very proud of the 2021 cohort. 

See you soon

Lynn Wood @ 2021.10.14 2:42 AM
Looking forward to seeing your idea in plant nurseries soon Phoebe- very creative!

R Hainsworth @ 2021.11.20 8:54 AM

Congratulations on all of your hard work this year and for being the first year 12 design students to be part of The UpRising.  The 8 judges have been busy going through all the major design projects to decide which projects should be awarded hundreds of dollars in seed funding and mentoring, to take their project to the next level. The judges have used a points system, 3 points for the project they felt was the most impressive, 2 points for a second outstanding project and 1 point for a project that really resonated with them. Three projects will be awarded Seed funding and mentoring 

  • First Place $1000 Seed funding

  • Second place 750

  • Third place 500

The winners will be assisted with the continued development of their project next year by the very cool company Nectir

We are holding an Awards night to announce the winners and we would love to have you all there. It’s online so you can join in from wherever you are. 6pm - 7pm Thursday evening 9th December. 

Click here to get your tickets. 

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Wishing you the best of luck with your final exams. Awards night is on the 9th December

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