Italian beaches see rise in plastic pollution under coronavirus regulations

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ITALIAN seas and beaches are experiencing rising plastic pollution as they reopen after Covid-19 lockdown. 

The ongoing regulations requiring the use of masks and other protective equipment in order to reduce the risk of coronavirus contagion is resulting in higher levels of discarded plastics in the water and in nature in Italy. 

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Some beaches in Liguria had been using plastic bags to mark seats in order to maintain social distancing, but coastal storms dispersed them into the water. 

WWF recently released a statement warning, “even if only 1 per cent of the masks were disposed of incorrectly and perhaps dispersed in nature, this would result in 10 million masks per month.”

President of WWF’s Italian branch Donatella Bianchi said, “In order to defend the Mediterranean, which already has to deal with 570,000 tons of plastic ending up in its waters every year, […] we ask the institutions to prepare appropriate bins for masks and gloves near the ports where workers use these protections to operate safely.”


 





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