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Wildlife: disposable masks damage it, here’s what to do



Wildlife: disposable masks damage it, here’s what to do

For some time it has become common to see Covid-19 masks thrown along the roadside. These are mainly the blue disposable ones, perhaps trapped in the grass of our local park. Unfortunately the latter not only the number of waste and the pollution of our rivers increaseseas and oceans, but damage e they kill wildlife.

Especially in the past year there has been a marked increase in birds and wildlife trapped in carelessly thrown face masks. Since these have become mandatory in our daily life, they consume itUK only, about 53 million a day. Obviously, not all of them end up in landfills for disposal.

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Wildlife, thrown masks can damage it

In addition to the huge amount of plastic that already occupies our oceans, masks make their way more and more in our waters. They are most often made from plastic materials, such as polypropylene, polyethylene and vinyl. This means to be disposed of it takes up to 450 years to disintegrate. Even after all these years, there is still a lot of plastic there tiny microplastics.

Particles of the latter have also been found in the Antarctic and Arctic. All this plastic together with the Covid-19 emergency only adds to the problem. However, for seabirds the problem is the mask straps. Since March 2020, many associations have helped over 900 animals entangled in the waste. Most of these are seabirds that have their paws trapped in the laces of cast masks.

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All this leads us to ask ourselves a question: what to do to save the day? One of the best things to do is to use reusable masks. These have countless benefits beyond not harming wildlife. They are more comfortable and above all they can be washed with soap, like an item of clothing. They can be made at home for a good price and besides it is It is possible to personalize them by reusing an old t-shirt.

What can be done to stem the problem?

Of course, it is not always possible to use reusable masks. And it’s much more important to wear one than nothing. Additionally, for some lines of work, it’s also mandatory to use disposable face masks, so don’t assume someone doesn’t care just because they’re wearing a disposable mask. The important thing is to dispose of the masks in a thoughtful and responsible way. This type of mask obviously cannot be reused and therefore we have to throw them in our landfill.

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Another step we could all take is to cut the straps. People are encouraged to cut off the straps of their masks before putting them in the bin. This means that if face masks make their way into the environment, they will be less likely to tangle with wildlife. Obviously this too should not be done around and in public since even if you throw it away the masks can still spread the Covid-19 virusso be very careful.

Image by Paul Henri Degrande from Pixabay