- Planet Possible
How to stop discarded face masks from polluting the planet
Personal protective equipment is made of plastic and isn't recyclable. Now it’s being found everywhere on earth, including the oceans. The solution isn’t complicated: Throw them away.
You’re out for your daily walk. You see a face mask on the ground. Few want to touch what has shielded someone’s potentially virus-laden breath. So there it lies until it blows away—and that elemental problem is rapidly changing the landscape around the world, from grocery store parking lots to beaches on uninhabited islands.
Vaccines we mastered in record time to combat COVID-19. Litter in the time of the pandemic, it turns out, frustratingly defies solution.
A year ago, the idea that disposable face masks, gloves, and wipes could become global environmental pollutants was not a pressing concern. Personal protective equipment, PPE for short, was seen as essential for preventing the spread of COVID-19. No one imagined just how much of it