Reduce single-use face masks and promote reusable face masks instead

Single-use plastic face masks are found littered in environment across the globe.

This study 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. Estimating marine plastic pollution from COVID-19 face masks in coastal regions

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.

Available in Burmese, Dutch, English, Ewe, French, German, Greek, Indonesian, Italian, Khmer, Korean, Malagasy, Malay, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Tamil, Turkish and Ukrainian

This new poster has been designed to share freely on social media, or print out to display in shop windows, schools, offices, and in your community – anywhere in the world.

Please note :

Measures to get a grip on the COVID pandemic include vaccination programs, wearing face masks, social distancing and hygiene measures.

Please follow face mask guidance on the webpage of the World Health Organisation and follow local face mask policies❗️

If you’d like to receive this poster in your language, simply translate the text into your language and send your translation to 

  • Help reduce COVID waste 
  • Wear a reusable mask 
  • Be sure to wash it daily and follow WHO guidance and local face-mask policies