Face Masks And Latex Gloves Have Become A New Environmental Problem

We’ve all noticed how Earth’s taking a break during this Covid-19 pandemic. The planet is getting a chance to breathe, without so much human activity around. So, environmental recovery has been thought as a silver lining in the horrible coronavirus pandemic.

In Wuhan, China, there is 80% less air pollution than before, and it has been noticed that the sky is clearer in North America and Europe.

However, that’s in relation to air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. But on the other hand, beaches are filled with gloves and sewers are filled with face masks.

A lot of organizations are concerned that sewers, rivers and oceans have been swamped with hand sanitizer bottles, latex gloves, face masks and other PPE (personal protective equipment).

Opération Mer Propre, a French ocean conservation group, claims there is increasingly more parts of PPE the Mediterranean Sea. On their fb account, the group posted: “This is the first disposable masks to arrive in the Mediterranean. It’s just the beginning and if nothing changes it will become a real ecological disaster and maybe even health one.”

The group expects the photos will make people embrace reusable masks and substitute gloves for more frequent handwashing. Even though gloves are not officially required for regular use, supermarkets and shops make people wear them before entering.

Not only Europe complains, but also the US. There, storm water pumping stations are clogged with masks and gloves.

15 city authorities in the US reported they have had many more sewer clogs and drainage problems since the pandemic appeared.

Because of this, the US Environmental Protection Agency had a statement informing people that they should properly dispose of PPE.

Also, people were asked not to put PPE in recycle bins, since they can be contaminated by pathogens, and they are considered dangerous. We should all make sure we dispose PPE in appropriate general refuse bins if we are public.

So please, dispose of these things properly, if you want to save our oceans!



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