by Tyler Durden
After the World Health Organization officially declared the COVID-19 pandemic, governments around the world quickly mandated the use of face masks in public places.
This triggered a huge demand shock, prompting factories to start producing disposable masks at full capacity. The majority of these masks were produced in China, and in April 2020, the country reported amazing results daily production the number 450 million masks.
Plastic pollution: a lesser known side effect
In the 2020 Ocean Asia Report, masks on the beachResearchers have developed a formula to provide reasonable estimates of the number of disposable masks that enter the environment.
Looking at the annual production number of 52 billion Disposable masks and loss rate 3% (percentage of masks leaking from water management systems), Marcus Law notes The Optical Capitalist That the team almost concluded that 1.6 billion Face masks ended up in our oceans in 2020. That’s roughly equivalent to 5500 tons from plastic pollution.
These masks are usually made of Polypropylene, which easily crumbles into microplastics. While the effects of microplastics on human health have yet to be determined, these fragments are incredibly common in our water supplies – for example, 94% of US tap water considered contaminated.
Disposable does not mean they are over
Despite their single-use nature, disposable masks are expected to take more than four centuries to decompose while in the ocean. Here’s how that compares to other items we use on a daily basis.
The pandemic stretched into 2021, and the number of single-use masks polluting our oceans will likely continue to grow.
With this in mind, many companies and organizations have started looking for a solution. One noteworthy example is Blacksteel, Which method development To recycle surgical masks so that the raw materials can be used for other products.
picture: Unleash the mind