Marine plastic pollution and its consequences are in the news quite often, but it doesn’t seem to get more than a passing glance from the public.
Marine plastic pollution doesn’t just impact marine life; it can ultimately end up polluting the food people eat through fish that have consumed plastics that are smaller than themselves.
Plus, marine plastic pollution can be toxic to humans, so there’s good reason to want to prevent it by using masks responsibly.
Here are some tips on preventing marine plastic pollution by using masks responsibly.
Mask Manufacturers Should Use Bio-Degradable Materials to Make Masks
The problem with plastic pollution is not just that it exists, but that it lasts for such a long time—and can travel great distances before breaking down. These factors make the issue of marine plastic pollution serious and urgent.
Safely using bio-degradable materials to make face masks could prevent marine plastic pollution, and the environment can be preserved for future generations. – For example: Making masks out of bio-degradable hemp helps prevent marine plastic pollution by allowing users to safely dispose of their used masks.
Biodegradable material means masks will break down in nature over time, preventing them from entering oceans and hurting sea life. When people responsibly throw away their used bio-degradable masks and decompose, they are helping keep marine animals safe from harm caused by these tiny pieces of trash.
Single-Use Face Masks Alternatives
Single-use plastic masks are the cheapest and most popular mask options available on most markets today. However, there are some better alternatives to plastic disposable face masks that still keep you protected. With masks, it’s more about the material they’re made of and what you do with them once you take them off.
Synthetic fabrics like polyester or nylon can cause similar problems to microfiber. Bamboo and organic cotton come from non-toxic sources, so they impact the water supply less (the bamboo, in particular, will also biodegrade after use).
If anyone needs protection for respiratory issues and finds themselves using masks regularly, they should consider reusable versions – there are even reusable versions of N95s, which would be particularly useful for workers in their particular industry!
Educate The Public on Responsible Ways to Dispose of Face Masks
The largest contributing factor to marine plastic pollution is using single-use items. When an individual uses a face mask, they are often disposed of recklessly and eventually end up in the water.
Therefore, educating the public on responsible ways to dispose of face masks can reduce marine pollution because it encourages people to take responsibility for their actions by disposing of face masks responsibly. This would eliminate or reduce marine plastic pollution due to the irresponsible disposal of face masks.
However, education alone won’t be enough to solve marine plastic pollution. Education is only a start for people to make better choices about marine plastic pollution, and it can only go so far. Policies should be put in place to ensure all the mask disposal guidelines are adhered to, and those found guilty of breaking the rules should be held accountable.