A new report revealed that used masks and other items that have been worn in order to protect one’s self during the COVID-19 pandemic have started to affect conservation and the environment of beaches around the world.
On Wednesday, New Jersey’s Clean Ocean Action environmental group released its yearly report about its “Beach Sweeps,” revealing that 2020 displayed a new kind of litter problem: personal protective equipment.
In 2020, the group added PPE to their data card in the fall after the spring sweep was cancelled due to the pandemic.
The group discussed the increase in PPE in its report, saying:
Amidst the global COVID-19 public health crisis, the world is facing an environmental health risk caused by littering of personal protective equipment (PPE). NJ towns and municipalities are witnessing increased dumping and littering of used masks and disposable gloves. All litter eventually finds its way to the ocean and will end-up as marine debris. As a result, COA added PPE to the