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COVID-19 | A look at the time taken by face masks to dispose of as compared to other oceanic waste

Despite their single-use nature, disposable masks are expected to take centuries to decompose while in the ocean. Here’s how this compares to other items we use on a day-to-day basis.

September 14, 2021 / 07:14 PM IST
The demand for disposable face masks skyrocketed due to the pandemic. A number of these enter the environment, winding up in the oceans. Despite their single-use nature, disposable masks are expected to take centuries to decompose while in the ocean. Here’s how this compares to other items we use on a day-to-day basis. (Image: News18 Creative)
The demand for disposable face masks skyrocketed due to the pandemic. A number of these enter the environment, winding up in the oceans. Despite their single-use nature, disposable masks are expected to take centuries to decompose while in the ocean. Here’s how this compares to other items we use on a day-to-day basis. (Image: News18 Creative)
Single-use face masks are made from a variety of meltdown plastics and are difficult to recycle. They enter oceans when they are littered, when waste management systems are inadequate, or when these systems become overwhelmed. (Image: News18 Creative)
Single-use face masks are made from a variety of meltdown plastics and are difficult to recycle. They enter oceans when they are littered, when waste management systems are inadequate, or when these systems become overwhelmed. (Image: News18 Creative)
52 billion disposable face masks produced in 2020. (Image: News18 Creative)
52 billion disposable face masks were produced in 2020. (Image: News18 Creative)
Out of 80,000 tonnes of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the mass of plastic debris that floats in the Pacific Ocean, 5,500 tonnes is the disposable masks in the ocean in 2020 which is 7 percent of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. (Image: News18 Creative)
Out of 80,000 tonnes of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the mass of plastic debris that floats in the Pacific Ocean, 5,500 tonnes is the disposable masks in the ocean in 2020 which is 7 percent of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. (Image: News18 Creative)
Moneycontrol News
first published: Sep 14, 2021 07:14 pm

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