Disposable face masks prompt anti-waste campaigners to call for sustainable alternatives

Globally, 129 billion disposable face masks are thrown into landfill every month, according to a study by University of Southern Denmark researchers.To get more news about quality nonmedical mask factory, you can visit tnkme.com official website.

Face masks are a simple barrier, preventing the spread of respiratory spray from one person to the other.
With multiple states across Australia mandating the use of face masks in public areas for the foreseeable future, and health authorities warning of strong action for noncompliance, face masks have become a part of daily life.

Anti-waste campaigners are begging the public to consider more sustainable alternatives to the familiar blue-and-white surgical masks, warning of an ecological disaster.

"For Clean Up Australia Day in March this year, we're picking up a lot of these masks, and we need to remember that whatever we drop on a footpath or on a roadside is likely to end up in a waterway," Clean Up Australia chair Pip Kiernan said.

"I mean, they're made up of a variety of plastics … so it includes polypropylene, polyethylene, and vinyl.Earlier this year the RSPCA began a campaign urging Australians to "snip the straps" on disposable face masks in a bid to prevent threats to our wildlife.Ms Kiernan wants to see that message widely adhered to.

"You know, wildlife can get tangled up in it, they don't deserve to be dropped, they don't belong in the environment," she said.For the world's medical staff, the sterile plastic products have played a vital role in staff and public protection, from the use of PPE, gloves, and bottles of sanitiser.

But according to research into our waste footprint, an estimated 1.6 million tonnes of plastic waste has been generated worldwide every day since the start of the pandemic.

Executive director of medical services at the Limestone Coast Local Health Network, Elaine Pretorius says it's important not to concede on mask effectiveness.

"If you have a cloth mask with one of those little disposable filters that you can put in … the advice would probably be to change them every sort of three to four days," Dr Pretorius said.