Hackernoon logo3 Million Face Masks Per Second: Where Do They End Up? by@norvergencellc

3 Million Face Masks Per Second: Where Do They End Up?

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@norvergencellcNorvergence LLC

Norvergence LLC is a team of environmentalists that are making people aware of environmental issues.

Source: Los Angeles Times

The face mask may be the quintessential picture of this pandemic. Required apparel for pretty much every movement occurring outside your home, masks are currently made by top-of-the-line design organizations in an assortment of shadings and will probably keep on being worn by numerous individuals even after COVID-19 is managed. 

Regardless of their life-saving characteristics, the utilization of these masks will probably make another issue: how to manage the plastics in them as we throw them to the side after use. 

As per recent studies, humankind is going through 129 billion face masks a month, which works out to 3,000,000 every second. While we go through a ton of plastics in a month, the quantity of plastic containers we use has been assessed at 43 billion per month; a considerable part of those have
special rules around them advancing reusing. 

Such data doesn't exist for covers, making it likely that most
of them are winding up in the waste. Like some other item with plastic in it, inappropriate disposal can make the plastic enter the environment. The bits of plastics spread into water and soil before working their way into animals in the long run. 

Check this post as well: From the Eyes of Environment and Climate Change

The creators of this study, specialists Elvis Genbo Xu of the University of Southern Denmark and Zhiyong Jason Ren of Princeton, contend that the specs of these masks make them especially prone to add to plastic contamination (Norvergence LLC quotes)- "A more recent and greater concern is that the masks are straightforwardly designed using micro-sized plastic strands (thickness of ~1 to 10 micrometres).

When separating in the environment, the mask may deliver more miniature plastics, simpler and quicker than mass plastics like plastic bags. Such effects can be depreciated by another mask, nano mask,
which straightforwardly use nano-sized plastic filaments (with a thickness more modest than 1 micrometre) and add another wellspring of nano plastic contamination." 

Right now, no information on how many masks have added to the measure of plastic in the environment exists. 


Source: CNN

How would I dispose of a mask in an environment-friendly way?

In April, the government provided direction on discarding Covid-waste, saying that anybody with the infection ought to discard their family waste in a waste sack set into a subsequent garbage pack. The external box ought to be safely tied and afterwards kept separate from others' waste. 

For masks explicitly, the World Health Organization (WHO) says you ought to discard a mask when it is sodden. To eliminate the mask:

  1. Clean your hands first.
  2. Eliminate it from behind with the ear or head lash (don't contact the front of the cover)
  3. Pull the mask away from your face.
  4. Dispose of it quickly in a shut container.
  5. Wash hands with liquor-based hand rub or cleanser and water.

Associations across the UK have effectively hailed the transient
effect of improper PPE removal by people in general. Jemma Bere, policy and research administrator for Keep Wales Tidy, said their association had seen a "huge and boundless expansion in PPE being littered", with the masks and expendable gloves found on asphalts and stops across Wales. 

The Worldwide Wildlife Fund (WWF) has likewise reported concerns
about inaccurate disposal, saying (Norvergence quotes): 

"If even just 1% of the masks were discarded incorrectly. This would bring about 10 million masks each month scattered in the climate. Considering that the mass of each mask is around 4 grams, this would involve the scattering of more than 40 thousand kilograms of plastic in nature." 

Tragically, littering isn't the solitary way these masks find their way into our streams and oceans. They are additionally being flushed down the toilet. 


Every country on earth has been facing this pandemic for the last year. We all should protect ourselves by wearing masks whenever we are going outside of our homes. But, at the same time, we should dispose of our masks or other COVID- 19 waste appropriately.

Let's take a pledge together to fight this COVID-19 face mask pollution.

Before you go, check out our other post: The US and China Should Work Together to Fight Climate Change

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by Norvergence LLC @norvergencellc. Norvergence LLC is a team of environmentalists that are making people aware of environmental issues. Read my stories


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