The situation of pollution is back. Masks, gloves, and face shields have become the ‘new normal’ and have inadvertently added to pressure on the environment in the form of boosted plastic pollution. Masks that are enabled to save lives are asserting to be a toxic difficulty for nature. Single-use surgical masks have been found dispersed around pavements, waterways, and beaches worldwide since nations began mandating their usage in public places.
Conservationists have advised that this could provoke a rise in aquatic pollution. Shortly, there will be more gloves and masks than jellyfish in the Mediterranean. The alarm was put up by Opération Mer Propre, a French ecologist institution. “Face masks aren’t going away any time soon—but when we throw them away, these items can harm the environment and the animals who share our planet,” Ashley Fruno of animal rights group PETA told AFP. Macaques have been caught eating the straps off old and tossed-aside masks in the hills outside Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur.
In an occurrence that seized headlines in Britain, a gull was salvaged by the RSPCA in the city of Chelmsford after its limbs came to be entangled in the belts of a disposable mask for up to a week. Already there are indications that masks are deteriorating the danger to an aquatic existence. Conservationists in Brazil found a facemask inside the abdomen of a penguin after its body washed up on a coast, while a lifeless pufferfish was found caught inside another off the shore of Miami.
French campaigners Operation Mer Propre found a crab ensnared in a mask in a saltwater lagoon near the Mediterranean in September 2020. Florida Miami beach environmental committee finds a fish entangled in a disposable face mask. Steve Shipley from Driffield took a picture of the peregrine falcon on the North Yorkshire shore with a face mask. OceansAsia has furthermore called on governments to boost fines for littering and facilitate the usage of washable masks or else the situation will slip out of hands.