Ever wondered what happens to the disposable masks that we use and discard? The protective gear made of single-use plastic acts as a major pollutant in the 'new normal' but that's not all. 

Source: The Guardian

Abiding by the law and wearing masks is a great thing, what we don't realise is that while these single-use masks and protective gear might be saving our lives, they are endangering the existence of the fauna around us. 

Source: Twitter

Small animals and birds, on land and in the ocean, unfortunately, get tangled, in the elastic bands of the discarded masks. 

Source: Birmingham Live

They have a hard time dealing with the influx of these alien objects that they see around them, either washed on the shores, discarded in open spaces or sitting in dumpsters. 

Source: News Colony

For birds, the elastic bands of the disposed masks often get stuck in their claws or webbed feet, restricting their movement and hampering their everyday practices. 

Source: BBC
Source: BBC

Whereas, on the other hand, for the creatures of the ocean, it is much worse. They tend to swim into the alien, single-use face masks which can result in suffocation. 

Source: Green Biz

This is an image of a fish choked to death because of being trapped in a single-use, discarded face mask.   

Source: Miami New Times

But what if I told you that there was a way in which we could save the innocent lives of naive animals? 

There's a responsible way of disposing single-use face masks that'll ensure that lesser or no animals or birds get harmed because of our human waste. 

All you have to do is, either snip the elastic bands of the single-use face masks before discarding them or just cut them from the center, into two parts. 

Our safety should not come at the price of risking the lives of innocent animals. Let us all be a little more responsible while discarding single-use protective gear especially face masks. 

Source: Twitter

Currently, according to reports, there are more face masks than jellyfish in the ocean. While mother nature is healing and animals are reclaiming spaces with zero human intrusion, the oceans are paying the price of our safety. 

Source: Twitter

Please, let us all make a conscious effort to use reusable, washable masks and protective gear like rubber gloves instead of single-use plastic.