A recent study conducted by University of Southern Denmark reveals that we use an astounding 129 billion face masks globally every month – which means we are throwing away 3 million face masks every minute.
When I wrote about this issue last year, it was in its initial stages. But as anticipated, the plague of plastic waste has caught us off-guard and the majority of us are still clueless on safe and proper disposal of face masks.
The scientists at University of Southern Denmark suggest following few measures to deal with this problem:
- Set up mask-only trash cans for collection and disposal
- Consider standardization, guidelines, and strict implementation of waste management for masks
- Replace disposable masks with reusable face masks like cotton masks
- Consider development of biodegradable masks
Read more about it at: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/03/210310122431.htm
“Once in the environment, disposable PPE act like any other single-use plastic, likely never breaking down but rather breaking up into smaller and smaller pieces and persisting indefinitely,” said Nicholas Mallos, senior director of the Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas programme. “In fact, a recent study found that a single disposable mask can shed up to 173,000 microfibers – tiny plastic fibres – in a single day. “What this means is that the damage is cumulative, adding up over time to the massive amount of plastics already entering our ocean each year,” he said. “PPE has been vital in protecting human health, but the resulting pollution has also exposed that our waste systems are not equipped to handle crises like this.”