Discarded Masks Litter Beaches Worldwide, Threaten Sea Life

 


Discarded masks litter beaches worldwide, threaten sea life 

SANDY HOOK, N.J. (AP) — To the usual list of foul trash left behind or washed up on beaches around the world, add these: masks and gloves used by people to avoid the coronavirus and then discarded on the sand. In the past year, volunteers picking up trash on beaches from the Jersey Shore to California, the United Kingdom and Hong Kong have been finding discarded personal protective equipment. The latest example came Wednesday when New Jersey’s Clean Ocean Action environmental group released its annual tally of trash plucked from the state’s shorelines. In addition to the plastics, cigarette butts and food wrappers that sully the sand each year, the group’s volunteers removed 1,113 masks and other pieces of virus-related protective gear from New Jersey beaches last fall. “Used correctly PPE saves lives; disposed of incorrectly it kills marine life,” said Cindy Zipf, the group’s executive director. “PPE litter is a gross result of the pandemic, and 100% avoidable. Use PPE properly, then dispose of it properly in a trash can. It’s not hard and it’s the least we can do for this marvel of a planet we all live on, not to mention ourselves.” Source

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