The Increase in the use of Disposable Face Masks is causing even more Global Pollution

Another discarded face mask Credit: Twitter

JUST when it seemed that one saving grace from the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic was the reduction in pollution and the fact that the seas were beginning to be a better place for fish and marine mammals, mankind screwed it up again.

Face masks have been manufactured and disposed of in their hundreds of millions but as most are for one use only and there is little advice on how to throw them away safely, they are literally being dumped in the streets, flushed down toilets or even thrown into the sea.

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Many of the masks are made of the plastic polypropylene, which is not easily biodegradable and they are going to have a long life, polluting the oceans and being washed up on beaches.

Ideally, there should be public bins into which they (and the plastic gloves that every supermarkets gives out) can be dumped and then the proper authorities can decide how best to dispose of them safely, assuming that is possible.

Now that passengers on public transport in Spain have to wear masks to travel and workers such as hairdressers have to wear them so the problem is being magnified all of the time.

Some islands in the Far East have beaches that are literally awash with face masks and as the precautions continue the pollution can only get worse.


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