Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday March 10, 2021
Humans are using around 129 billion masks per month
We know that personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and face shields is important in protecting people against COVID-19.
But who’s protecting Mother Earth?
According to a study by the Environmental Science & Technology journal, humans around the globe are using approximately 129 billion disposable face masks and 65 billion plastic gloves every month.
And many of those masks have become litter in streets, beaches and oceans.
That waste is cause for concern for environmentalists like Rebecca Prince-Ruiz.
“There’s been an extraordinary rise in single-use plastics used in PPE,” said Prince-Ruiz, founder and executive director of Plastic Free Foundation, an organization aimed at limiting single-use plastics across the world.
“It’s the issue on top of everyone’s mind.”
Disposable masks are extremely important for front-line workers such as doctors and nurses.
Stopping their use isn’t an option.
But there are small things everyone can do to reduce waste, Prince-Ruiz said, such as wearing reusable masks.
Kids can also encourage adults to reduce their use of plastic gloves.
There are also companies finding creative solutions to this environmental issue. (Continued: CBC Kids)