It takes at least 450 years to degrade a mask

  • 2022-06-10
  • 1271

In the current epidemic environment, the mask is a necessity for epidemic prevention in our daily life. But do you know that littering masks will cause serious environmental pollution.

At the end of the mountains and seas that we cannot see, there may be a pile of discarded blue masks.

Members of the French marine protection group have previously joked that the quantity of mask in the Mediterranean may be more than jellyfish. The World Environmental Protection Organization also published a statement that if 1% of all masks are not disposed properly, nearly 10 million discarded masks will be generated every month. The Asian Ocean Organization once released a report that at least 1.56 billion masks had been discarded worldwide in 2020.

Some people think that masks are made of simple cloth, and the earth can degrade them in a short time without much harm caused. In fact, masks are also plastic products. Generally speaking, the mask body has two layers of non-woven inside and outside,a layer of meltblown cloth in the middle. The raw material used for the non-woven fabric and the meltblown cloth is a special polypropylene resin.

The masks discarded in 2020 are equivalent to bringing about 5,000-6,000 tons of plastic waste to the earth. Some of them flow into the ocean, and some are buried in the land. If the environment is allowed to degrade naturally, it will take at least 450 years.

How terrible is mask pollution?

Wild animals are the first to be threatened by masks. Near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, monkeys are trying to find is not food, but masks. They think masks are food and eat them directly into their stomachs. There is also a risk of being strangled on the neck of the monkey.

The more serious pollution of masks is actually plastic pollution. After external factors such as light, wind and wave erosion, and weathering, plastic products will be gradually decomposed into microplastics. Do not underestimate microplastics. The harm it brings is actually greater. The microplastics are ingested by the zooplankton, and then the fish eat the zooplankton, and the result is that the fish are born slowly and behave strangely. As humans at the top of the food chain, after eating these fish, they will eventually accumulate in our body. It can be seen that littering masks will not only further distribute microplastics, and finally harm to our humans.

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