Disposable face masks pollute oceans with dangerous microplastics

This is beyond belief. How is that possible that they end up in the oceans? Who is responsible for this?

The Most Revolutionary Act

Disposable face masks are being dumped into the oceans, potentially releasing harmful microplastics into the atmosphere and our food.

This month marks the one-year anniversary of San Francisco enforcing the first face mask law in the United States. During the COVID-19 pandemic, almost all states have mandated the use of masks. By October, 93 percent of Americans said they wear a mask or face covering when they leave their home and are unable to socially distance themselves.

“Humanity is going through 129 billion face masks a month, which works out to three million a minute,” according to Big Think.

With large populations of the world using masks regularly as a health precaution against coronavirus, it has had an unintended consequence – pollution.

The Ocean Conservancy released new data detailing how personal protective equipment has polluted beaches and oceans all over the planet. Volunteers who were cleaning beaches all over…

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2 thoughts on “Disposable face masks pollute oceans with dangerous microplastics

  1. Sadly, this is utterly predictable. Just as with plastic bags that escape from cars and landfills to go traveling the world, flapping off trees and entangling themselves in wildlife, disposable and even cloth masks are small, lightweight, and prone to billow off in the wind. I try to assume that most masks (and plastic bags) escape from people, but I know there are always the evil polluters who willfully toss cigarettes, gum wrappers, masks, and whatever they have no use for with no feelings of guilt. I just spent yesterday morning with my neighbors as we cleaned trash from a ditch that runs through our neighborhood. It is unbelievable how much we collected from less than a mile’s worth of ditch.

    1. Yes, Linda, it is very sad that this is so predictable! I believe with stuff like this extra precautions should have been taken all over the globe how to get rid of it, the same as with any hospital disposable items. I assume the source of distribution is either a pharmacist or a hospital or some kind of medical institution. People wear these masks only once. When they take them off, a safe place for discarding should be provided. However, all over the world people usually carry now their own reusable masks with them. I assume these would not cause the same kind of problem with polution.
      In Australia it is overall not compulsory any more to wear a mask if you are able to stick to a certain amount of social distancing. If you enter a hospital, mask wearing is still required. If you forgot your own mask, you are given one of these disposable masks. If you leave the hospital, you are asked to put the mask in a special bin! 🙂 It is as simple as that!

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