By Sarah Keane • 01 January 2021 • 17:39
ENVIRONMENT fears as 1.5Billion face masks end up in Spanish seas in 2020
It can certainly be said that the lockdown and restrictions prompted by the coronavirus pandemic has some positive environmental effects, such as a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions as well as pollution in many Spanish cities. However, it’s not all good news as the proliferation of masks, gloves and other PPE has represented more plastic waste for the environment.
Marine conservation organization OceansAsia, in a recent study, estimated that by the end of 2020 approximately 1.56billion face masks will have ended up in the ocean, representing an additional 5,000 tons of plastic pollution.
“The 1.56 billion face masks thrown into the oceans in 2020 will only be the tip of the iceberg”, suggested the director of OceansAsia, Phelps Bondaroff, who added: “They are only a small fraction of the approximately 8 to 12 million metric tons of plastic entering our oceans each year.”
In addition to face masks, the UN Conference for Trade and Development stated that gloves and bottles of hand santiser will account for about 75 per cent of plastic waste produced by the pandemic which will end up in landfills and seas.
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Former teacher and health services manager with a Degree in English, Sarah moved to Spain from Southern Ireland with her husband, who runs his own car rental business, in 2019. She is now enjoying a completely different pace and quality of life on the Costa Blanca South, with wonderful Spanish and expat friends in Cabo Roig. Sarah began working with Euro Weekly News in 2020 and loves nothing more than bringing all the latest national and international news to her local community.
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