The New Type of Marine Pollution under the Pandemic

  Wendy  2020-06-19 04:34:34

With more and more people being aware of the importance of wearing protective equipment such as masks and special clothing as a result of COVID-19,  new types of pollution drew our attention. Imagine, if these waste protective equipment are not to be properly disposed of, what will be the consequence?

First, of course, it will cause damage to the environment.
Whether it is glove, mask, or wipe, it contains plastic elements.
When they are randomly disposed of, the raindrops will contain their elements and flow into the sewer system or rivers, oceans and other bodies of water. Even if it breaks down into microplastics, it still attracts harmful chemicals.
At the same time, if you stay in the water for a long time, these wastes will be covered with algae, which smell like the food of marine animals...
If marine animals use them as food, they will not only eat plastic, but toxic chemicals which will enter the body together, leaving injury or even life-threatening diseases to the animals.

In addition, the random disposal of medical surgical masks poses a considerable risk to the environment because they contain polypropylene, a non-biodegradable material. It will take up to 400 years for it to be decomposed in nature.

Secondly, the random disposal of this equipment also has the risk of spreading the virus.

In response to this increasingly worrying phenomenon, many people took action in advance.
For example, in the southern part of France to which Antibes belongs, a member of parliament proposed to impose a fine of 300 Euros (approximately 2366 RMB) on people who throw masks and gloves in public.
The congressman added: "France uses 200 million masks every week. If one-tenth of them are thrown on the ground, what would it be like..."
In addition, many companies including Ford Motors are trying to make reusable protective items. For example, one protective clothing made of airbag material still has a protective effect even if it is washed 50 times.
The University of Nebraska is also testing whether ultraviolet light can decontaminate and extend the life of medical masks, thereby reducing waste.

In addition, when discarding, the protective equipment should not be mixed with recyclable garbage. The best way is to directly throw them into a dedicated recycling container, and leave the rest to the professionals.

Hope everyone can pay more attention to their behaviors and don't bring irreversible damage to the earth again.