Wearing medical barrier masks in the age of Covid-19 has become as routine to us as putting on shoes. These masks have long been worn in other countries but due to the danger of contracting or spreading the Coronavirus, we are using an astoundingly high number of these masks every month. According to estimates, 129 billion face masks and 65 billion plastic gloves are used every month.
The high levels of compliance in wearing masks has, of course, saved millions of lives and helped keep healthcare systems from being overrun (although this has not always been successful), however, this has seen a huge increase in the amount of single-use plastic waste which is having adverse effects on the environment.
How do I Dispose of my Face Mask Correctly?
It is imperative that we dispose of these masks in the correct manner. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), masks should be discarded in the correct rubbish bin immediately after use and not reuse them.
What is the Correct Bin?
Masks and other disposable items that are used to contain the virus, such as gloves, must not be disposed of in a recycling bin and instead put into a plastic bag and sealed, and then put into the regular rubbish bin. You should then wash your hands with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
Buy Reusable Masks Where Possible
Even when you dispose of your masks in the correct manner, there is still an inevitable chance that these masks will make their way into the ocean and wider land environment. Protecting yourself and others from contracting Covid-19 is of the utmost importance, but it would make a significant difference if some of those 129 billion disposable face masks were reusable.
Everyone can do Their Bit
We are already in a battle against the amount of plastic thrown away each and every day that makes its way into our environment, so by making a purchase of reusable masks, you would be helping in that fight. It takes small actions by many people to make positive & significant progress.
This is something that we can all help with, and here at Service Matters, we are continuously striving to improve our sustainability and minimise human impact on the environment.
One of the ways Service Matters combats this issue is through how our products are produced.