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We Throw Away 3 Million Face Masks EVERY Minute – A Toxic Waste Time Bomb in the Making

an with used masks by river - GettyUsed masks found in a river in Indonesia. Toxic particles from masks can contaminate drinking water. Adrian/INA Photo Agency/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Wearing single-use masks was extremely critical in curbing the spread of coronavirus. Sadly, these masks have become a significant pollution threat as the world dumps 129 billion facemasks every month – about 3 million masks per minute. These masks are discarded everywhere, from city sidewalks to significant niches of the internet. The shores of Hong Kong deserted Soko Islands, and coasts of France are filled with this filth, depriving them of their beauty.

The growing waste mountain explains why environmental advocates and scientists expressed alarm about the potential effects from the jump … dire ecological ramifications. The filth has made its way into the world’s waterways affecting aquatic life besides other animals.

Man picks up mask from street curb - Getty
Governments have ignored the problem of mask waste, leaving individual groups to address the growing crisis. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Today’s most significant priority is to invest in practical ways of saving humanity from an environmental catastrophe. In a phone interview from his office, John Hocevar, the oceans campaign director, Greenpeace USA, said that the plastics companies used the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to enrich themselves without prioritizing the safety of the environment. The CEO of the Plastics Industry Association, for instance, testified that single-use masks are a pandemic health necessity, a fear-mongering tactic that explains the increase in plastics by up to 300%.

Man with bag of used masks - Getty
The global population uses an estimated 129 billion face masks every month. Eric Piermont/AFP via Getty Images

As the world strives to find the most effective solution to the ongoing waste disaster, it is undeniable that savvy entrepreneurs hold the key to the answer we need. According to Hocevar, what the world needs today to save the environment is a practical, affordable, and reusable PPE. However, to design these PPEs, someone must be willing to spend a lot of money which makes the savvy entrepreneurs and governments the key to solving the current mask waste crisis – meaningful impact. Instead of the single-use masks, which were encouraged initially, it is time to promote the use of heavy-duty disposable masks and respirators, including nonsurgical N95s and KN95s.

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Comment by stephen myers on March 7, 2022 at 10:25am

Recycle them for toilet paper......

Comment by John Smith on March 6, 2022 at 11:47pm

Poor human error.. becomes a big impact..

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