Face Masks
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, countries all over the world took quick safety precautions. Aside from implementing policies aimed at curbing the virus, many governments made wearing a mask law. However, these masks (especially disposable variants) cause harm to the environment. And that’s why it’s advisable to use a washable face mask.

Not only has COVID-19 taken a toll on lives and livelihoods, but also the environment. If recent research evidence is anything to go by, then this planet is hurting from pollution. Initially, most of the pollution emerged from our industries. When coronavirus kicked in and forced many industries to shut down for a while, many thought the earth was healing.

In fact, if anything, coronavirus waste has led to further pollution of the planet. Such waste includes single-use PPEs, which many aren’t disposing of correctly. Some are finding their way into the oceans, while others are lying around on the streets. COVID-19 has curtailed recycling and other efforts put to control pollution. However, by choosing to use a washable face mask, you are not only protecting yourself but also the environment.

Pollution Driven by Increased Mask Sales

The coronavirus disease took the world by a storm, as many didn’t see it coming. Even scientists couldn’t predict such an occurrence, thus, weren’t ready for it. Arguably, many people panicked in fear and anxiety during the initial days of the pandemic. Then came the prevention measures aimed at warding off the virus.

One of such measures that the WHO and many governments implemented is the use of face masks. The advancement of face masks as a way of fighting the coronavirus disease led to an increase in demand. Therefore, the supply had to meet this huge demand. Manufacturers have since made tons of masks to deliver across the globe.

The UN trade body (UNCTAD) estimates that sales from face masks will reach a whopping $166 billion this year. This is a sharp rise from the previous year (2019) which saw a paltry $800 million.

Economists will tell you that this is a positive increase, as many got jobs and profits skyrocketed. However, environmentalists will throw a blowback showing how much damage this has caused to the planet.

Disposable face masks, to be more precise, have led to the biggest damage on our planet today. Unfortunately, not everyone is responsible enough to dispose of his or her mask properly. Those who throw their masks carelessly cause the biggest harm to our world right now.

Recent media reports showing clips and images from divers inside the sea is heartbreaking. In this evidence, most of them emerge with tons of gloves and masks that infiltrated the French Riviera waters. If this isn’t a wake-up call to all of us, then what is?

Hazardous to Both Animals and People

If you are thinking that pollution only affects aquatic animals, then you’re in for a rude shock. People equally encounter the effects of pollution, especially from COVID-19 wastes. Discarded masks may still harbor the virus if the person using them was infected. And this may increase the risk of spreading COVID-19. The most vulnerable individuals in this case are litter pickers and waste collectors.

However, recent research now shows that general members of the public may also be in danger of infections. Getting into contact with disposed masks can get you infected with the virus easily.

Some animals don’t have the intelligence to differentiate food from wastes. Therefore, they end up choking on PPEs they find littered around. Besides choking, they even get malnourished, as they continue eating such terrible stuff.

Why You Should Use a Washable Face Mask

Having seen what extent of damage disposable face masks causes to the environment, governments sought after alternatives. Even the World Health Organization advises that people purchase reusable masks and leave the medical ones to the front liners.

Therefore, by using a washable face mask, you are not only protecting the planet, but also our front liners. They need extra protection due to the nature of their jobs. Imagine being in the frontline of a global scourge killing thousands of people every day.

Besides, a reusable mask offers you more than just protection. You’ll get to choose the color and design you’ll want.

It has come to a point where we have to address this uncouth behavior of pollution facing the earth. Governments are now doing whatever they can, including encouraging citizens to use a washable face mask instead of disposable variants.

At least, a washable face mask isn’t as damaging as a disposable one. For the former, you’ll reuse it regularly, thus, no need to dispose of it. However, the latter can only serve you once, which makes it a must to dispose of. But even if you must use it, why not dispose of it in the right way? And hey, it won’t cost you much to dispose of a mask correctly – just $0.00.

Final Thoughts

Using a washable face mask isn’t about saving costs alone, but also saving the environment. Reports emerging from environmental bodies are appalling, and we need to change the status quo. There’s a hero in every one of us – choose a washable face mask.