People that love to take care of our nature are currently worried about how the pandemic, face masks, and gloves could impact the oceans and beaches of our planet.
Preliminary data that was presented during the yearly International Coastal Cleanup event, which was carried out last month, showed that a total of 62,210 PPE items, which include face masks, rubber gloves, and other PPE materials were removed from beach shorelines and from oceans all over the world.
This is the first time that PPE got listed as a data category for the clean-up event.
The event started over 30 years ago by Ocean Conservancy, a nonprofit organization.
Dr. George Leonard, a chief scientist with Ocean Conservancy, released a statement about the new data to CNN.
The statement said:
We absolutely believe that PPE waste is a significant threat to oceans and marine life.
According to the website of Ocean Conservancy, the International Coastal Cleanup prioritizes removing trash from beaches.
They also do work to help protect oceans and waterways.
Not only PPE, but food wrappers, cigarette butts, plastic bottles, bottle caps, plastic grocery bags, and other plastic materials were also removed.
In 2019, 122 countries on our planet participated in the event.
A total of 23,333,816 pounds of trash got collected during this clean-up event.
We, humans, are just failing all together right now.
This year, preliminary data that was obtained suggested that a total of 76 countries were involved in this year’s event.
1.6 million pounds of trash got collected.
According to the Environmental Science and Technology journal, around 129 billion face masks and 65 billion gloves are being used to manage the global coronavirus situation.
Most of the garbage of PPE is being thrown at oceans and beaches.
Dr. Leonard said that humans might end up permanently destroying sea habitats during this pandemic, which by the way is not slowing down in any way.
During the interview with CNN, Leonard said:
There’s enhanced demand and use of single-use plastics like bags and containers by consumers and businesses for groceries and food takeout. Then there’s the global use of disposable masks and gloves. No one would have thought a few months ago that the entire world would be using them.
If you want to help Ocean Conservancy with their cleanup programs, you can by clicking here.
Do your part, throw masks at the right places and make sure that they do not end up on beaches or in our oceans.
Spread this news and be part of a bigger movement to save our one and only planet.