Ocean Pollution Caused By Thrown Face Masks And Gloves
Amid the pandemic, to stop it’s spreading, wearing face masks and gloves become compulsory. However, a new problem has aroused as people threw them everywhere.
Conservationists warn people that the thrown face masks and gloves pollute the environment. Not only food wrappers and cigarette butts are thrown in the streets, but face masks and gloves, too. During storms, the thrown face masks and gloves end up in the rivers and oceans. As these items are made of plastics and non-biodegradable materials, they are very hazardous both for marine animals and the environment.
— Indigenous (@AmericanIndian8) April 18, 2020
Conservationists have posted photos of the Hong Kong`s beaches, where surgical face masks and gloves were spread all over the sand. It is expected that these discarded items will be found inside dead marine animals in the next few years.
The same trend of throwing used face masks and gloves has been popular in the United States, too. Americans started a campaign about how face masks and gloves should be used properly as well as how thrown masks and gloves pollute the oceans and the environment.
Also, Maria Algarra, a founder of an environmentalist group, stated they have started up the campaign not only to track where people throw face masks and gloves but also to educate them and increase their awareness. She added that it not only a challenge, but it is also an education.
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Environmental groups warn that the discarded face masks and gloves are posing a great threat to the wildlife habitat and marine life. People consider that they are protecting themselves, but it is not just protecting yourselves. It is selfish to use face masks and throw them.
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Sadly No Shortage of Surgical Masks On Hong Kong Beaches OceansAsia are currently 5 months into a year long study of #marinedebris and #microplastics. Our research site is located on the Soko Islands, a small group of islands located south west of Lantau at the mouth of the Pearl River delta and one of the focuses is investigating the make up of the debris, where it comes from etc. On this months survey trip the team noticed a new arrival to the beach, the surgical mask. Besides the obvious disgust in hygiene mentality the interesting part for us is seeing the timing. With such a massive social change (everyone wearing masks) it has taken 6 weeks to see the effects wash up on our beaches. Surgical masks would possibly have been there before the COVID-19 virus in very small numbers, but no way on the scale we witnessed. We have been on this beach twice a month for 5 months. In Hong Kong we have already seen our nature trails getting trashed by masks, however to now know that something introduced enmasse to a population, takes just 6 weeks to arrive on our beaches. This highlights we have a serious waste management system, both in Hong Kong & China. Photo: Naomi Brennan *Gloves were worn at all times and collected masks were disposed of correctly. #covid19 #virus #cdc
In the process of protecting themselves, people are throwing face masks and gloves in the environment without thinking about other people.