Reduce COVID waste

Single-use plastic face masks are found littered in environment across the globe. Reduce the use of single-use face masks and promote reusable face masks instead.

This study – Estimating marine plastic pollution from COVID-19 face masks in coastal regions -estimates annual face mask utilisation and plastic pollution from mismanaged face masks in coastal regions of 46 countries. It is estimated that approximately 0.15 million tons to 0.39 million tons of plastic debris could end up in global oceans within a year. With lower waste management facilities, the number of plastic debris entering the ocean will rise. Significant investments are required from global communities in improving the waste management facilities for better disposal of masks and solid waste.

Follow the WHO guidelines and your national regulations and instructions related to the use of face masks. These regulation differ from one country to the next.

22 January 2021 : The WHO advises that “non-medical, fabric masks can be used by the general public under the age of 60 and who do not have underlying health conditions.”

COVID If everyone wore a disposable mask every day for a year, we’d have 3 TRILLION masks to dispose of. Disposable masks take centuries to breakdown, and in the meantime when they inevitably escape into the environment, they can be lethal for any birds, mammals, turtles, and fish that get tangled in them.

Disposable masks are necessary for frontline medical staff, and vulnerable people – but the majority of people can keep themselves and their communities safe by wearing reusable #facemasks – and therefore minimise the long-term environmental impact caused by #Covid19.

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