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| 1 minute read

Plastic, plastic, plastic....and now PPE

Microplastic and plastic pollution is threatening marine life as we all know it.  Over the weekend I read one of the Climate Change articles on CNA news....depressing title: "Filipino scientist takes first ever journey to third deepest ocean trench on Earth, finds plastic".

One of family's activities that we are really looking forward to do (once we are allowed to travel again), is snorkeling.  But after watching a BBC video this morning, we're unsure if we are going to enjoy it as much as we used to...    'Divers find Philippines reef covered with single-used face masks. All these PPEs are washing up on coral reefs; and the polymers inside the surgical masks are breaking down into microplastics, easily consumed by marine wildlife and the coral reefs that nurture them.'  

I can't help myself feeling sad and guilty because I started using these surgical masks for the last month (instead of using my old reusable-cloth masks) for better protections against recent variant as per local authority's advice. So I did some serious reading on what can we do? how to dispose these face masks correctly?

Feeling a bit overwhelmed now. WHO recommends discarding them in the "correct" rubbish bin immediately after use and not reusing them. What is the "correct" bin? Clearly it is not our general household rubbish....

Then, more advice from another reliable resource ~ masks and other disposable material that are used to contain the pandemic, such as gloves, masks, must not be disposed of in the recycling bin with packaging, cans, etc. or with organic waste.

This one is interesting; The Brazilian Sanitary and Environmental Engineering Association (ABES) has issued advice on the correct way to dispose of used masks and gloves. The materials should be placed into two small plastic bags - one inside the other. Tie the bags firmly and throw them away with your general domestic waste.

So, more plastic?!!

“When we were about to reach the bottom I was expecting to see scary, crawling things sneaking in or peeking into the windows.” Instead, what greeted them in the depths was something far more familiar - something that had also travelled from above the surface.  “There was one funny scene when we were exploring the area. There was one white material floating around. I was saying ‘Victor, that’s a jellyfish’. We went there and approached and it was just plastic.


single use plastic, single use masks, sustainable marine life, plastic pollution