Sandy Hook, NJ – Add masks and gloves used by people to avoid the coronavirus and thrown into the sand to the usual list of dirty trash left or washed away on beaches around the world.
Last year, volunteers picking up trash on the beaches from the Jersey Shore to California, England and Hong Kong found abandoned personal protective equipment.
The latest example came on Wednesday when the New Jersey Clean Ocean Action Environment Group announced an annual tally of trash picked from the state’s coastline. In addition to plastic, cigarette butts, and food wrapping paper that pollute the sand each year, group volunteers removed 1,113 masks and other virus-related protective equipment from the beaches of New Jersey last fall.
“Proper use of PPE can save lives. Group Secretary-General Cindy Zip said,” If you dispose of it incorrectly, marine life will die. “” PPE waste is a serious consequence of a pandemic. , 100% avoidable. Use PPE properly and dispose of it properly in the trash. It’s not difficult, not to mention ourselves, because of the wonders of this planet where we all live. What we can do is minimal. “
Shortly after the virus began to spread widely last year, discarded masks and gloves began to appear on the beach, and continued to appear when quarantine-tired people tried to escape on the beach.
According to the Ocean Conservancy group, more than 107,000 PPEs were collected by volunteers around the world in late 2020. This is a number that members believe is well below the actual total for this year.
Nicholas Maros, Senior Director of the Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Can Free Sea Program, said: “In fact, recent research shows that a single disposable mask can drop up to 173,000 microfibers (small plastic fibers) in a single day.
“This means that the damage is cumulative and over time it is added to the large amount of plastic that is already flowing into our oceans each year,” he said. “PPE was essential to protect human health, but the resulting pollution also revealed that our waste system was not equipped to handle such a crisis.”
In Northern California, the Pacific Beach Coalition recently noticed a dramatic increase in abandoned PPE on the beaches of and around Pacifica in southern San Francisco. On the cleaning day in San Diego, 413 latex gloves and more than 700 disposable surgical masks were used.
In Scotland, abandoned PPE was found on nearly a quarter of the beaches cleaned by the Marine Conservation Society last fall.
And in the early March 2020 of the pandemic, masks began to appear on the beaches of Hong Kong.
Conservationists report concerns that seabirds can get caught in the ear straps of face masks and marine life can eat masks and gloves and mistake them for food with serious or fatal consequences. I will.
In addition to PPE, the Clean Ocean Action beach sweep featured some rare items such as back scrubbers. Pregnancy test at home (results unknown). Bonn; $ 81 check. Bubble Tombstone; Parking Violation Ticket; New Orleans Saints Flag. Eight pumpkins; and a wooden pig head.
The Group’s Spring 2021 Beach Sweep will take place on April 17th above and below the Jersey Shore.
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Discarded masks are scattered on beaches around the world and threaten marine life
Source link Discarded masks are scattered on beaches around the world and threaten marine life