Disposable Masks and Gloves – Major Threat to the Oceans

The Covid 19 pandemic has affected the whole world and we have all referred to the use of protection to prevent the coronavirus. Disposable masks as well as medical gloves have become part of the daily life of every person on this planet. Keeping distance between people, frequent hand washing, disinfection in all institutions, markets, malls, etc. are just some of the measures taken to prevent the spread of the infection. The lives of all the inhabitants of this planet have changed completely. Just as we did not leave home before without our cell phone, now the protective mask is part of us and something without which we do not leave home. Has anyone wondered where those disposable protective masks end up? The first thing you think of is garbage cans. But unfortunately this is not the only place where disposable masks end up.

We are witnessing discarded disposable masks on the streets, forgotten masks on shopping carts, bus stops, discarded masks in parking lots, on green areas as well as on the beaches. Unfortunately, trash cans and containers are not the only places where these disposable masks end up. Social networks are flooded with images showing discarded masks in the already mentioned places. Conservatives are particularly wary of the enormous threat posed by protective masks against ocean pollution. Not all masks are made from biodegradable materials.

Ocean Conservancy explains that many fish start eating some of the plastics found in the water because they are confused that it is real food. Many species of animals in the oceans are in danger of extinction due to pollution by plastic materials.

Like the aquatic world, humans are affected by this plastic pollution. Humans consume fish found in the oceans, so they are also directly involved in the pollution process. Especially this period of the pandemic “enriched” the pollution of the oceans with disposable masks. Seabirds and turtles can replace latex masks with food because of their light color. They can cause serious injury or even death. It is often the case that various dead animals are found in whose stomachs ropes, plastic gloves, bags and plastic cups have been found.

The fact is that this pandemic has changed our lives and we all strive to protect ourselves as much as we can. Still, as we try to protect ourselves, we need to think about others around us. In particular, we put the marine world in great danger of extinction with our improper disposal of plastic. Masks are a current problem that ends up in the oceans and contributes to their pollution, along with all the other plastic that can be found there. It is very important for all of us to be careful where the waste we take from home is disposed of. The whole ecosystem is disturbed by just one protective mask or plastic bottle thrown into the ocean or any other water or green surface. Conservationists fear a high rate of wildlife extinction in and around the oceans and warn of declining wildlife.