Masks are now polluting the sea
By Zeba Tarannum
Scientists are advising to wear masks always outside the house to get protection from COVID-19. Although it is benefiting the people, it is creating a new problem for the environment. Most of these masks are draining into the Rivers, Canals, reservoirs with inland and municipality drainage, and finally into the sea. Hence, it fearing, the marine environment will be in danger due to this.
According to Deutsche Welle, a German media report, scientist estimates 150 crore masks fell into the sea last year. Various components of these masks are very harmful to the environment. It is also harmful to the aquatic lives in the Ocean.
Gary Stokes, Director of Operations at Oceans Asia, said, “Now we have to fight with the masks as well. They are constantly floating on the sea. A question arises after watching this- why masks after use are not destroying through the normal process, and are the facility fall into the sea? What is the right way to destroy them before they drainage?
Bernhard Shodrovsky, an Official of a waste management organization, Germany, said, “Everything should be thrown in the waste bin, be it high-quality masks or ordinary surgical masks or rubber gloves.”
Since they are not reusable and recyclable, and as its medical waste, so should burn them after use. Nevertheless, it is seeing that masks are not burning at all.
An expert of CTL Laboratory, Germany, said, “If the masks dump in an open space in a village, it is not harmful to the environment at the beginning. But the main problem is some components of mask, such as polypropylene, take more time to decompose.”
“This is the main problem, and mask should always throw in the right place. If everyone throws the masks here and there in the forest, it will remain in the same place for a long time, and at one, it will turn into microplastics,” he added.
Then what is the way to escape this danger? Regarding this Gary, Strokes said, “At first we have to stop using mask one time. Besides, we have to check how the governments of other countries are controlling the waste management of masks.”
“If the masks fall on the road, once it is likely to fall on the drain. From the drain, it is going into the sea. Therefore, not only from a personal level, an initiative should take from the government level as well,” he advised.