Life-saving masks become ecological killers 1.6 billion masks into the sea, it takes 450 years to decompose

The masks, gloves and other protective items used by humans over the past year have accidentally caused a burden on the earth’s ecosystem. The picture shows the discarded masks on the beach in Long Beach, California.

The Epidemic has been going on for more than a year since the New Coronavirus (CCP virus) swept the world. The masks and gloves used by humans during this period have accidentally caused a burden on the earth’s ecosystem, although they have protected users from infection. It is estimated that as many as 1.6 billion masks may have flowed into the oceans last year, requiring at least 450 years to complete decomposition.

The Pacific Beach Coalition, an environmental group based in California, has been cleaning the beaches in San Francisco every month for the past 25 years. With the recent increase in human protective gear waste, the group’s president, Lynn Adams, hopes to raise awareness of the issue. He said, “We can estimate what ends up in the ocean from the trash we pick up when we clean the beaches, which used to be mostly cigarette butts, but now it’s mostly masks and gloves. As some large mammals may eat the masks and gloves, this will cause obstacles to the marine Food chain.

Another environmental group Oceans Asia (Oceans Asia) pointed out that, according to the production volume of masks and a combination of factors, the masks flowing into the ocean in 2020 may be 1.6 billion, requiring at least 450 years to complete the decomposition, for the ecological environment is a great burden.

Even if animals do not eat these masks or gloves, they may still have an impact on the ecosystem; Dutch scientists found that birds nest in rubber gloves discarded by humans, so the University of Leiden (Leiden University) launched a project to study the relationship between animal and human protective gear against the disease.

The study found that animals nesting in discarded protective gear, in addition to the unstable base of the nest itself, also gives them the opportunity to be infected with the new coronavirus.

In addition to gloves, Leyden University also found that the ear band of the muzzle is also a nightmare for various wild animals. If a wild animal accidentally gets tangled in a muzzle, it’s hard to get rid of it. The Leyden University research team said that many birds have muzzles wrapped around their necks because they can’t get rid of them on their own, and these masks are likely to follow them for the rest of their lives. Therefore, we call on everyone to cut the ear band before discarding the muzzle, so that the muzzle does not bring potential threats to wildlife.