This year, Island School has collaborated with Sports Clothing manufacturer Tsunami Sportswear to launch a reusable mask design competition. Students can submit their own designs to their respective Houses themed around the ‘House Spirit’.
WANBO launched this competition to combat the waste created by disposable/single use masks. The scale of the problem was highlighted by Gary Stokes, co-founder of the NGO OceansAsia, a conservationist, activist and an Island School parent in an assembly . In a survey conducted within Island School, 82% of the student body at Island School used a disposable mask on a daily basis. This would mean that if 82% of Island School students only used one mask a day then 923 masks would be disposed a day!
Students have submitted a wide range of designs both hand drawn and graphically generated to show what the theme of “House Spirit” means to them. Many of these designs have incorporated both house colours and mascots in order to make the mask appeal to all members of the House.
The designs so far!
WANBO leaders Ethan Yap (12W) and Sam Hui (11W) explained the rationale behind launching the scheme. “Since the beginning of COVID-19, the consumption of single-use, non-disposable masks has risen rapidly. The plastic waste that is generated can smother ecosystems and it causes a great threat to Earth’s fragile environment.”
“We conducted detailed planning and research to ensure that the reusable masks are sustainable and meet health and safety rules. We are not simply selling reusable masks to students, rather, we are giving everyone a chance to design masks that are tailored and customised for Island School’s vibrant student body.”
“We were pleased to see all the enthusiasm and passion around school about making a change, and through launching this scheme we endeavour to make reusable mask usage more ubiquitous.”
Students also expressed their interest in the project.
WANBO leader Sean Lee (11N) said, “It truly caused us much trepidation when we heard the news that we are engendering millions of disposable masks waste across the globe every day. This collaboration with Tsunami Sports also fosters creativity and critical thinking skills. Most importantly, the activity is sending out a message of hope and reassurance to our community that we are able to make a difference to the environment through our own hands.”
“I have read each week’s newsletter with curiosity to see how WANBO makes a difference. From launching the Zero Waste Initiative to getting guest speakers to come in, the team’s dedication has inspired me to be more committed to environmental protection,” exclaimed Jaime Ho (11N). “This initiative again demonstrates that WANBO’s creativity and commitment to encouraging sustainability never ends and will end in prominent success.”
Hans Yang (11W) also showed his enthusiasm for the project. “I believe linking environmental protection and art into making these reusable masks is a great idea for the Island School community. This is a very practical approach towards the mask consumption issue within Hong Kong.”