PPE and Face Mask; New Poisonous Scar to our environment

Date:

Share post:

After a few months of lockdown, and when we could finally move out of the house, we went to the beach and noticed the masks and the gloves. Not only us, locals and tourists have found a disturbing new tide washing up on the beaches recently. Hundreds, if not thousands, of disposable face masks, plastic gloves and other debris, all of the result of Covid-19.
Many countries have made umpteen attempts to ban single-use plastics seemingly on hold amid the coronavirus crisis, but now many countries are drowning in an ocean of dirty and discarded personal protective equipment.
Marine biologist Emily Stevenson, 23, has been cleaning beaches with her family for more than a decade. Her team picked up 650 plastic gloves and 250 face masks on a stretch of the Cornish coast in the past two months.

PPE waste is found everywhere. It is hazardous to the environment as many masks have fine layers of plastic, including non-recyclable polypropylene, polyethylene and vinyl. If they are disposed of properly, they will end up in landfills or be destroyed, releasing toxic fumes.

If it is left in the ocean, it will take an estimated 450 years to degrade.

These are found more on beaches than anywhere else as its final destination would be in the seas or oceans. Whether it is dropped on the ground, blown out of a car door, or washed down into a drain by rainfall, it would ultimately reach the sea or eventually be washed onto a beach.

Previously, the most common items were cotton buds, crisp packets, plastic bottles and food wrappers, but now it is discarded masks and gloves.

According to the Global conservation group WWF, says that even if one percent of masks were not disposed of properly, then the natural environment would be filled up with about ten million masks a month, which is about 88,000lbs of plastic.

It is very hazardous for the sea creatures as the Covid plastic can easily be swallowed by them.

If the stomach is filled with plastic, it reduces the feelings of hunger and causes the animal to weaken, which would end up in a slow and painful death. Large pieces of plastic can block the intestines, while smaller bits can be scattered when excreted, putting even more animals at risk. The elastic straps that secure disposable masks are particularly hazardous for wildlife, which can easily become tangled in the loops

The effects of Covid-19 will remain for the generations to come, even if the virus is eventually contained.

ALSO READ: Flat pack coffins help the environment, is the in thing funeral costs and the grieving process differ

Newsletter Signup

Related articles from Tags

Alt News Co-Founder Mohammad Zubair arrested for 2018 Tweet

Journalist Muhammad Zubair, who is also the co-founder of fact-checking website Alt News, was arrested by the...

Who is Teesta Setalvad and why does she fight against Modi?

Teesta Setalvad, 60, was already a well-known activist with human rights through the Mumbai-based NGO Sabrang Trust...

Meet Teesta Setalvad – a Journalist, activist and a Padma Shri awardee

Teesta Setalvad, is a journalist and an activist based out of Mumbai. She is a Padma Shri awardee...

Maharashtra Political Crisis: Recent developments after the rebellion

Maharashtra political crisis: After vacating the official residence, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray said the...

New Labour laws 2022: Everything you should know about it

After the Agnipath scheme, the Central government is in the process of revamping the labour laws in...

Agneepath scheme: Boon or bane to the country?

While Union ministers and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led government at the centre, calls the Agneepath scheme...

Afghanistan: Massive earthquake hits the country, over 1000 people dead

On Wednesday, Afghanistan was hit by a massive earthquake with a magnitude of 5.9 on the country’s...

Vyapam Scam 2013: What, Who, When? Interesting details

In 2013, a scam was unearthed which shocked the whole nation - The Vyapam Scam. It was...

Why Draupadi Murmu is next president of India: Details you need to know

Draupadi Murmu is proposed by BJP for the post of President. She is the former Jharkhand Governor...

Great Indian Nautanki Company Scam, IDBI Bank releases NPA notification

“Great Indian Nautanki Company” is the name of a company which was given credit of corresponding of...

Anand Mahindra offers employment to Agniveers, Netizens mixed reactions

Industrialist Anand Mahindra plunged into support for 'Agnipath' and offered to hire 'Agniveers', jobs in his company....

BJP blames Telangana govt for protests against Agnipath in Secunderabad

BJP blames the Telangana government for conspiring to defame the central government. The protests started around 8.00...