"In Ocean Asia’s 2020 report, Masks on the Beach, researchers developed a
formula to provide reasonable estimates for the number of disposable masks
entering the environment.
Given an annual production figure of 52 billion disposable masks and a loss
rate of 3% (the percentage of masks that escape water management systems), the
team concluded that nearly 1.6 billion face masks wound up in our oceans in
2020. This amounts to approximately 5,500 tons of plastic pollution.
These masks are commonly made of polypropylene, which easily breaks up into
microplastics. While the effects of microplastics on human health are not yet
determined, these fragments are incredibly common in our water supply—for
example, 94% of U.S. tap water is deemed to be contaminated."
Via Robert Sanscartier.
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics