Splash Blog

COVID-19, a mixed bag for the environment.

In line with the current pandemic, it feels like the new norm has already emerged. A clear example to that is that now we never forget to take our masks with us anywhere we go. However, one thing we seem to forget is where these masks end up when we throw them right after a single use. As this virus appeared, a new form of pollution came right with it.


The recent news report that masks, sanitizer bottles, latex gloves have been floating in the ocean, and even outnumbering jellyfishes throughout the coasts and beaches in many countries. We complain that summer plans have been altered, but what good would upcoming summers be on a beach filled with washed up used masks?


Although this issue is quite new, it is a global signal for a bigger problem that is yet to come, especially as these items are considered to be essential gear stocked up all around the world in large volumes. To put it into perspective, a report done by FEMA announced that they had sent over 149.2 million surgical masks, 14.3 million face shields, and over 1 billion gloves to only the US alone. Most of these items are not recyclable or biodegradable at all, and they will not just disappear.


As we stayed home, nature started to heal up. Asia had a sea-turtle baby boom because of fewer tourists. Dolphin populations are also up in some areas. Italy's canals cleared up filling itself with jellyfishes. These are only few of many instances reported around the world. But in the near future, the damage can be bigger than it was before, if we don't figure out a way to tackle this problem now.


Since there is no one perfect solution at this point of time, we need to raise awareness, so that our communities and people invest in research on how to better dispose of these essential items. For now, we can switch to carrying the reusable Medical approved masks to reduce our own impact. As was mentioned before, every small but conscious step counts towards a bigger and more meaningful cause.


Love the Planet.


Blog written by Musti BoredPuma.

Art made by Katie BoredPuma.