Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are the ZENplanet ABACA Face Masks manufactured in China?
A: No, ALL ZENplanet ABACA Face Masks are hand-made by local workers in the Philippines.
Q: Are any materials in the ZENplanet ABACA Face Masks made in China?
A: No, all are locally sourced, biodegradable materials from the Philippines.
Q: Is ABACA a new material for use in producing consumer products?
A: No, ABACA plant fibers (relative of banana plants) or “Manila Hemp” have been used since the 19th Century for ship’s rigging. Today, it is used rope, fishing nets and wide range of consumer products including clothing, furniture covers, and specialize paper products. The Philippines produce approximately 85% of world’s supply of ABACA.
Q: What is different about ZENplanet ABACA masks from other reusable face masks?
A: ZENplanet ABACA face masks are the ONLY biodegradable, washable masks that can be re-used at least 100 times (2-ply) and 150 times (3-ply) if carefully maintained. Some reusable masks include synthetic materials that require hundreds of years to decompose. Others have high rates of absorption (porosity) that become ideal sources of bacteria growth. This may cause illness among users and erodes the longevity use of the masks. The key is that ABACA fibers are unique in their resistance to water and their high density rates.
Q: Do you have proof that the ZENplanet ABACA face masks have high filtration rates for civilian use?
A: Yes, the Philippines’ Department of Science and Technology (DOST) tested the ZENplanet ABACA face masks. The scientific analyses concluded that the filtration rate of ABACA masks is 7 times greater than cloth masks. This official DOST certification letter/results are publicly available.
Q: Do you have proof that the ZENplanet ABACA face masks have very low water absorption rates for civilian use?
A: Yes, the Philippines’ Department of Science and Technology (DOST) tested the ZENplanet ABACA face masks. The scientific analyses concluded that the water absorption rate of ABACA masks is lower than N95 (medical grade) face masks. This official DOST certification letter/results are publicly available.
Q: What is the significance that ZEN planet ABACA face masks are manufactured according to the principles of the World Fair Trade Organization?
A: Like Starbucks’ Fair Trade Coffee, the production of ZENplanet ABACA face masks subscribes to the ethical labor and eco-friendly practices of the World Fair Trade Organization. Each face mask is individually made by local workers that are compensated with “fair” wages, enjoy healthy working conditions, and produce least environmental impact with minimal carbon emissions and only biodegradable waste products.
Q: What do you mean that ZENplanet ABACA face masks will positively affect Climate Change?
A: The billions of PPE face masks that are used by civilian populations around the world will be disposed in garbage dumps, burned in incinerators, or flow into rivers, lakes and oceans. It is estimated that the decomposition process requires at least 500 years which includes emitting methane gasses and other chemicals in the air. Also, the manufacturing process (primarily in China) emits millions of tons of carbon-based emissions. By replacing disposable masks with ZENplanet ABACA face masks, billions of disposable faces will not be manufactured and biodegradable ABACA can be easily disposed in organic settings.
Q: What is the cost savings for using ZENplanet ABACA face masks?
A: ZENplanet offers 2-ply and 3-ply ABACA face masks. The 2-ply masks are designed for casual use outside of buildings as well as for young students. If carefully washed and dried (no more than 3 minutes in water), they can be re-used at least 90 times. The 3-ply masks are designed for in indoor use. These are the highest filtration and lowest water absorption rates for older adults who will be most at risk for exposure to Covid-19 and other influenzas. They can be re-used at least 130 times. Consequently, the cost of ZENplanet ABACA face masks is approximately 80% less than using disposable, lower filtration and much higher water absorption rate face masks.
Q: Why not soak my ZENplanet ABACA face masks in water for more than 3 minutes?
A: ZENplanet ABACA face masks are made of biodegradable materials. Although the porosity of water resistant ABACA fibers is very low, soaking your masks for an extended time will eventually lead to moisture in your masks. This will affect the integrity of the material and accelerate decomposition that will dramatically reduce the longevity of your face masks.
Q: How should I store ZENplanet ABACA face masks?
A: Do not store your masks in hot locations like automobiles in the sun. When not being used, the best practice is to place your masks in a clean paper bag and store in a cool location. You should always have at least two ZENplanet ABACA face masks. One mask that is currently being worn and a second mask that has been recently washed/dried.
Q: Are ZENplanet ABACA face masks the same color like disposable masks?
A: No, ZENplanet ABACA face masks are individually made in 8 different colors. Orders can be customized for size and color based on availability.
Q: Is it possible to customize ZENplanet ABACA face masks such as printing school logos?
A: Yes, if sufficient quantities are ordered, customized logos can be printed on ZENplanet ABACA face masks for a modest additional fee. A high resolution copy of the logo can be sent to Customer Service and it will printed during the final stage of the production process.
Q: Besides curbing the spread of Covid-19, are there any other important uses of ZENplanet ABACA face masks?
A: Yes, wearing ZENplanet ABACA face masks may be effective in reducing the spread of winter influenzas, the common cold, and breathing during periods of poor air quality,
Q: Why is there a limit on the number of ZENplanet ABACA face masks that can be purchased?
A: Due to the limited supply of ZENplanet ABACA face masks and enormous demand for re-usable, biodegradable masks, our policy to provide them to as many people as possible in promoting personal health security and raising awareness on Global Warming.
Q: Will ZENplanet LLC offer other eco-friendly products in the future?
A: Yes, a wide variety of ABACA consumer products will be available beginning in Fall 2020 with the goal of adding eco-friendly, biodegradable cosmetic products.
Q: Is ZENplanet LLC planning to create childrens’ books about promoting sustainable societies and eco-friendly policies in AGE of Covid-19?
A: Yes, ZENplanet LLC plans to release the first in a series of educational books and programs in 2021 beginning with its eco-friendly ABACA production “tour” that is available on the website.
Q: Is the ZENplanet ABACA face mask a “one-size-fits-all” size?
Q: I attempted to order ABACA masks on the ZENplanet website. But, I received a reply that they “are not available in my region.” How can I get them shipped to me?
A: At this time, ABACA face masks are only available in the US and Canada due to commercial licensing requirements. It is expected that ABACA face masks will be available for purchase in UAE by early August 2020. ABACA face masks will not be available in other countries unless there is a special custom order. Please send your special order requests via the ZENplanet email communication.
Q: I want to order ABACA face masks on the ZENplanet website but the response at Checkout was ‘New shipment will arrive within two weeks.’ Should I order now or wait until the new shipment arrives?
A: ZENplanet ABACA face masks © are made from unique fibers that are found in the rainforest of the Philippines. Each face mask is hand-made and customized according to customer specifications. The demand greatly exceeds the supply. As a result, paid orders for ZENplanet ABACA face masks © are processed on a first-come, first served basis. If you purchase the face masks now, they will be processed as soon as the next shipment arrives.
Q: I am impressed with the quality of ZENplanet ABACA face masks © and sustainability themes of the company. Will there be other products offered in the near future?
A: Yes, ZENplanet plans to offer new products in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021. These include organic health products, a series of children’s books, and Eco-Tours (beginning in Philippines). ZENplanet is committed to raising awareness about ecological sustainability and combating the scourge of Climate Change. We hope to provide information resources as well as eco-friendly products that improve body, soul, and spirit.
Q: ZENplanet offers 2-ply and 3-ply ABACA face masks. What is the difference and which one should I use?
A: 2-ply face masks are much lighter but offer lower filtration rates than 3-ply ABACA face masks. The 2-ply masks are fine for use by students and adults outside of buildings. The 3-ply masks are preferred for adults that interact closely with other nonfamily members such as at work in offices or shopping in malls. The 3-ply masks last much longer (at least 130 uses) than 2-ply masks (90 uses) if properly maintained.
Q: Is ZENplanet LLC the ONLY company in the world that distributes ABACA reusable, biodegradable PPE face masks to GCC and Western countries?
A: YES, ZENplanet LLC has direct relationships with producers of ABACA material that are used to create hand-made ABACA face masks in the Philippines. Although ABACA face masks are sold in some urban markets of the Philippines, ZENplanet LLC is the only company that ships ABACA face masks from remote islands of the Philippines to distribution centers in UAE and USA.