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How single-use masks are contributing to pollution?

Yes! Disposable masks contain plastic which pollutes water and can harm wildlife who eat them or become tangled in them.
04:20 AM Nov 07, 2020 IST | APN Live

The COVID-19 pandemic caused the worst hit to the campaign against plastic pollution. The major reason behind it is the usage of disposable masks, gloves and other protective equipment being used during this pandemic period. Conservationists have given warning that coronavirus pandemic can spark a surge in ocean pollution–A plastic glut of plastic waste threatens marine life. Yes! Disposable masks contain plastic which pollutes water and can harm wildlife who eat them or become tangled in them. 


Here’s how single-use masks are contributing to plastic pollution:

Pollution caused by significant raise in mask sales

Wearing a mask is compulsory for every individual as it is the first line of defence against Covid-19. This scenario caused an extraordinary rise in the production of disposable masks, globally.


A Toxic problem

Face masks are made of a type of plastic that does not break down quickly. People who wear single-use face masks drop them on the ground in public areas causing a pollution threat. The increased usage of single-use masks and their improper disposal has caused a severe pollution concern.


The warning by an environmental agency says that a large increase in medical waste made from environmentally harmful single-use plastics is not managed soundly. If we assume historical data as a reliable indicator, it is expected that around 75% of used masks and plastic waste used in protection against pandemic will end up floating in the seas or landfills. 

How single-use masks are causing a threat to marine life?

Environmental groups have already given warning that the waste is causing a huge threat to marine life as well as wildlife habitats. A huge number of single-use masks are used by millions of people on a daily basis. The number of masks that are not disposed of is very high, and they end up disposing of either in the countryside or the sea where marine life can consume them mistakenly as food.

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