The Palisadian-Post has partnered with locally founded environmental organization Resilient Palisades to deliver a weekly “green tip” to our readers.
The global pandemic has devastated too many lives and livelihoods, and continues to pose unforeseen challenges worldwide. An easy way we can all reduce one of the secondary impacts of this virus is by responsibly discarding our plastic-based face masks.
COVID-19 has increased single-use plastic pollution, from plastic food containers to personal protective equipment.
Each month over the past year, an estimated 129 billion plastic-based face masks have been used globally, and three million are thrown out every minute, according to a report by PBS NewsHour.
These masks are made from layers of plastic microfibers that are not biodegradable. When disposed of improperly, they release petrochemicals into our soil and water.
They also can kill wildlife who mistake them for food or get entangled in their straps, including birds, sea turtles and other animals.
There are two responsible options for disposing of your plastic-based masks, including three-ply surgical, dust, KN95 and N95 masks.
Option A: Trash
- Cut or tear the straps off your mask to prevent wildlife entanglements.
- Dispose securely in a trash bin, ensuring it cannot escape.
Option B: Recycle
Recycle your plastic-based masks with a TerraCycle Zero Waste Box. Visit shop.terracycle.com/products for more information.
Once you’ve taken action at home, help spread the word to friends, neighbors and even your doctors’ offices.
As we endeavor to put COVID-19 behind us, we have the responsibility and ability to address its secondary impacts.
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