While it is absolutely essential that we wear face masks during this pandemic, masks, gloves, and PPE are polluting the globe with non-biodegradable plastic waste at rates the world has never known. We cannot completely change this ecological nightmare, but we can do something to lessen it. 

Wear an authorized, safely constructed, three-layer cotton mask whenever possible and avoid wearing single-use disposable masks. Why?

    Single-use masks use polypropylene (PP), a plastic and fossil fuel product derived from petroleum or natural gas.
    Single-use disposable masks are meant to be worn only once and they are to be replaced as soon they become damp (WHO).
    Single-use masks are not biodegradable and they need to be disposed of safely so not to spread infection.
    Single-use masks can be a source of microplastic pollutants if they get into our waterways.  
    Single-use masks are ending up in our oceans and waterways. Protect our marine life by cutting off the ties on any mask you discard.

“It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.”

Prepared by Mary Heather MacKinnon, SSND for the AM Water Committee.
* Single-use masks, coronavirus waste end up polluting ocean - Environment - The Jakarta Post 
 

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