Discarded single-use face masks are standing as the frontline protection from the spread of coronavirus. Thankfully we have the one affordable way which in turn was made mandatory in every possible country which has been fighting against the pandemic.
However, least did anyone us foresee the devastating effects it is creating to the environment. By the time the environmentalists felt elated over reducing carbon levels and a threat to animals, a recent study conducted by Environmental group OceansAsia Soko’s islands in Hong Kong, the group of environmentalists found a threat from surgical disposable facemasks.
According to the group found masses of surgical masks washing up on the shoreline. Speaking over the same, they expressed deep concerns over the environmental footprint of the dumped facemasks on the environment. “What happens to mother earth when you suddenly have a population of seven million people wearing one to two masks per day the amount of trash generated is going to be substantial,” said one of the team members.
Unfortunately, most of these masks contain or are made of polypropylene, which does not break down quickly. This plastic does not disappear but rather slowly breaks down into micro-plastic, which enters food chains, with devastating effect. The cotton mask, on the other hand, can be worn many times – it simply doesn’t have the same medical requirements. According to the experts, it’s even fine to just wash it every once in a while.
However, people using should also be aware of proper ways to dispose of surgical masks correctly while more than 100,000 marine mammals and turtles and over a million sea birds are killed by marine plastic annually