Discarded face masks now threatening wildlife habitats

The around the world outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) prompted several to purchase experience masks for security. Sad to say, these protective masks have been harming the environment. Why is that? The masks are built of the plastic polypropylene, which is not quickly biodegradable. No shock then that the accumulation of discarded confront masks litters the setting and poses major challenges to the equilibrium of habitats and the overall health of wildlife, especially maritime organisms. Environmental teams are now sounding the alarm on how cast-off coronavirus masks are escalating the litter and plastic air pollution predicaments.

a blue face mask against a white background

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“We only have experienced masks for the very last 6 to 8 months, in a significant volume…we are now looking at the effect on the setting,” discussed Gary Stokes, founder of Oceans Asia, a marine conservation organization. Stokes elaborated with the case in point of the Soko Islands off Hong Kong. On just one 100-meter extend of beach, Stokes found out 70 masks, then an extra 30 the pursuing week. 

Hong Kong’s dense population indicates that its citizens have struggled with plastic squander. Single-use plastic makes issues extra challenging. What is more, Hong Kong does not effectively recycle all its waste. As a substitute, roughly 70% of its rubbish finishes up in landfills. That 70% is equal to roughly 6 million tons of refuse. Conservationists have been trying to take out these masks from the environment by means of beach cleanse-ups.

“Nobody needs to go to the forest and find masks littered just about everywhere or used masks on the shorelines. It is unhygienic and dangerous,” added Laurence McCook, head of Oceans Conservation at the World Wildlife Fund in Hong Kong.

Jerome Adams, the United States Surgeon Common, has also advised people to prevent purchasing health care experience masks, as they are ineffective at blocking COVID-19. Scaling back community paying for of the masks would not only continue to keep more masks accessible for clinical experts, but could also minimize the quantity becoming discarded and its influence on the natural environment.

By using Reuters

Illustrations or photos via Pixabay

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