Come on People.

I see them too.  Everywhere. As Marie Fazio explains in recent NYT article. On beaches. Floating in Ocean. In parking lots. On sidewalks. Gloves. Wipes. Kleenex. Masks.  Discarded everywhere. Sickening, really.  Come on People.


Experts say the risk of catching coronavirus from a discarded mask is minimal, but the litter is causing concern for other reasons: Used masks and gloves, which cannot be recycled, pose a problem for the environment.

Disposable masks and gloves aren’t necessarily better or worse than any other kind of litter, according to experts.

Like other waste, a mask could be mistaken for food by wildlife. Or a heavy rain could wash it into a storm drain or a river and eventually the ocean, posing a risk for marine ecosystems.

“It’s quite alarming where these are ending up,” said Gary Stokes, founder of OceansAsia, a marine conservation group. “It’s not just the beaches. We’re getting them out in nature, but also downtown; you see them on the streets, in the gutter, on public transport.”

In February, on a routine trip to the uninhabited Soko Islands off the coast of Hong Kong, Mr. Stokes collected around 70 masks along roughly 100 yards of beach.

“We’ve seen it already with whales and turtles with plastic bags, and with masks it’s the same thing,” he said. “Another piece of trash for the next generation.”

Like drinking bottles, fast-food containers and other plastic material that ends up in the ocean, masks collect algae, attracting small fish that in turn attract larger fish, he said. A dolphin or whale could mistake a mask for food, and the mask could get caught in the animal’s digestive tract, which could result in death.

Over time, plastics in the ocean can break down into smaller particles known as microplastics. Those particles become coated in toxic substances and are eaten or absorbed by marine life and could eventually make their way into human food, experts say.

Around eight million metric tons of plastics enter the ocean annually, according to research, and environmentalists fear that P.P.E. litter, as well as more home delivery packaging, will worsen the situation.

A University College London study found that if everyone in the United Kingdom wore a new disposable mask every day for a year, it would result in 66,000 metric tons of plastic waste, plus 57,000 metric tons of packaging…

~ Marie Fazio, from Your Used Mask Needs to Make It to the Trash Can.  They’re on beaches, in parking lots and on sidewalks. You probably won’t catch the coronavirus from a discarded mask, but the litter poses a risk to the environment. (NY Times, July 25, 2020)

Comments

  1. I had the very same concerns when on August 1st, the Swiss National Holiday, I saw a mask lying on the shore of our little lake…. We went for the many little private fireworks, enjoyed the wonderful night and the joy of small groups of people, of some bathing youth, and THERE WAS THAT MASK. We spoke about how this would eventually lead to another environmental disaster. It dampened a bit our joy…. now this! Are people learning NOTHING EVER from ANYTHING? It makes me angry, sick, fed up, and I wonder What the f… it takes to get the ‘news’ into those concrete-heads! Yesterday in the tramway a gaggle of young girls were loudly discussing stuff from their mobile phones, one with her mask under her chin, three over the mouth but the nose free and one correctly equipped. For some weeks now masks are compulsory in all transports…. Finally, a man came from the back of the tram and told them that mask-wearing was absolutely for all. They said ‘but we’re wearing them’ and his reply was: No, you aren’t – you must cover nose and mouth and one of you has it on her chin….. They muttered and laughed disparaging but I was glad that someone had the courage to act. I truly believe that for those youth it was just an annoying, half-dead,, unhappy old guy; they are young, healthy, strong and they think not that they also put their own future in danger by playing this out so carelessly.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. niasunset says:

    This is problem. Every time I find mask in our apartment garden too… If I find who is doing this…. Thank you, Lovve, nia

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This enrages me. I swear to God, we really do seem to be a society hellbent on self-destruction, one way or another. Unreal….

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m with Kiki on this…we are being careless, thoughtless and self-righteous – and terribly, terribly wrong

    Liked by 2 people

  5. with no regard for others, humans and other animals, and the impact this has on them.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Sad, indeed!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I see them everywhere. Especially around hospitals. And at the lake 😔

    Like

  8. Awful, indeed. However, this made me consider all the millions and millions who are not discarding masks and who are wearing them correctly if unhappily. (A genuine thank you to them on many levels!)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The righteousness of wearing the masks, which fades now into mandates and serious work, combines with the resentment and violation people are sensing. I fear that most folks throw their masks to the “wind” indignantly, compensating for their feeling so trapped, so boxed in, so silenced perhaps. Made less visible. Maybe it’s just pure ignorance. Thanks for the reminder today: we can be more compassionate. Imaging beyond our pettiness.
    We can practice.
    It’s hard work.
    Start with asking yourself today…practice paying attention.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. As if we don’t have enough junk in the water already!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. We have been biting the hand (ocean) that feeds us. If we keep going the way we’re going, we’re going to get where we’re going. The ocean will feed on us. “An Idea Whose Time Has Come” a sermon published in Best Sermons 3 in 1990, came in response to the closing of beaches on the NY and NJ coast. Syringes, blood bags, and other medical waste were washing ashore from a garbage barge whose purpose was to dump its cargo miles from shore. I was horrified. We knew better, or so I thought.

    “The very survival of the human species depends upon the maintenance of an ocean clean and alive, spreading all around the world,” said Jacques Cousteau in the Time interview at that moment. “The ocean is our planet’s life belt,” and, according to the Time article, “The planet’s life belt is rapidly unbuckling.”

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    We humans DO NOT deserve this planet … “I see them too. Everywhere. As Marie Fazio explains in recent NYT article. On beaches. Floating in Ocean. In parking lots. On sidewalks. Gloves. Wipes. Kleenex. Masks. Discarded everywhere. Sickening, really. Come on People.”

    Liked by 2 people

  13. So disgusting!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Valerie Meluskey says:

    Empathy for and with all commentaries and responses. I am reminded of one of my lovely late mother’s words (you know, those words that people rarely use anymore), “fastidious”! She aspired to be fastidious, thankfully in an appealing way. So, I’ll take that as my current lesson. I believe that all must work on themselves…and that includes the mind and all the thinking that issues from it. For example, when enraged or outraged by all I hear and see and read in our current world, rather than combust, I turn it over to Higher Intelligence…where inspiration, creativity, healing can come…and become silent. So much challenge…
    Thanks for bringing us together to care together about our home!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I don’t know what’s worse; people not wearing masks, or people earing masks and then dumping them wherever they feel like…

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Agreed! This is so disturbing!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. humans can be so disappointing 😌

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Humans have been disgusting for centuries. I cannot understand why, with everything that has been shown to us, it continues.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Shameful. Dave the following is a book you should read. I am reading right now:Isabel Wilkerson’s ‘Caste’ Is an ‘Instant American Classic’ About Our Abiding Sin

    Wilkerson’s new book makes unsettling comparisons between India’s treatment of its untouchables, Nazi Germany’s treatment of Jews and America’s treatment of African-Americans.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Our “self” awareness is the planets undoing, and perhaps ours.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. It is sickening. They are prolonging the pandemic. Have they no soul?

    Like

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