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Covid-19 and Face Mask Pollution

Covid-19 and Face Mask Pollution

It is Covid-19 pandemic time and majority of people use Face Masks to protect from spreading Corona Virus and its variants, which are Polluting our Environment. I was driving on a highway yesterday and noticed Face Masks on the road and flying here and there due to a heavy dust storm. This triggered me writing this article.

Environmental Hazards

Those who use Face Masks often discard or throw them without any concern on our environment. What happens due to that? It has reached a stage even polluting our oceans and threatening the Marine Life.

I read an article in Bloomberg Businessweek recently, which states that since the beginning of the pandemic in 2019, the global production of Face Masks has rocketed to 129 billion a month. The Face Masks are mostly made from Plastic Fibres which take several years for disintegration. So, leaving them carelessly here and there creates a big Environmental Hazard. When left in open, their Fibres breakup into microplastics. It is then impossible to collect compared to other Plastic Bags.

Many companies are already experimenting on ways to produce Biodegradable Face Masks so that it won’t threaten the Marine Life. Some of these Biodegradable Face Masks are made from new Plastics and made to self-destruct in few months. Some other Masks are made from Corn Starch, Sugar Cane etc. and few others are even embedded with seeds that Germinate into Meadow Flowers.

So, to protect our Environment as well as the Marine Life, please be a responsible Citizen and dispose off your Face Masks properly and avoid Polluting the Environment. You can read on the effects of Pollution caused by improper disposal of Face Masks on the internet.

Read on the “Quest for a Disposable Mask that won’t Pollute” at Bloomberg Businessweek

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Born and brought up in Kerala, I did my schooling in Kerala and graduated (B.Sc Physics) from the Calicut University. I have worked with a Swedish Company from 1994 to 2015, as a Senior Project Manager in their Group IT Division in Dubai. This blog is the result of my strong desire to communicate with others, sharing what I know and what I could gather from various sources.


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