In the midst of the pandemic, immediate medical needs are being met with non-reusable masks and latex gloves. Not just doctors, but even those who are trying to take preventive measure during the outbreak are resorting to using non-reusable supplies that are destroying the sea beds.
A French environmental NGO, Opération Mer Propre (Operation Clean Sea) has started ringing alarm bells during the pandemic. They have found "Covid waste" like masks, gloves and bottles of sanitisers along the French Riviera.
Julie Hellec, a spokesperson for Opération Mer Propre wrote in a Facebook post that over 2 billion disposable masks have been ordered in the country, which will eventually end up polluting the sea.
Soon there will be more masks than jellyfish in the waters of the Mediterranean
- Julie Hellec
On an average, the masks will take 450 years to completely disintegrate in the sea, making them an ecological hazard. Each year, the Mediterranean sees 570,000 tonnes of plastic, and the an amount has been stated by the WWF to be equal to dumping 33,800 plastic bottles in the sea.