Sea Life Damaged Because of Pandemic Waste

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Over one million sea creatures are being killed each year because of human pandemic waste.  

According to 7News, “a dead sea turtle found off Queensland had remnants of a face mask in its stomach…” During the pandemic, people have created an extra 8 million tons of waste. Popular Science claims that “about 1.56 billion face masks entered the seas in 2020”. 

Littering is the primary cause of trash ending up in the ocean. Littered trash ends up in storm drains, flows through rivers, and into oceans. Since there are around 2,000 litter pieces per mile, about 21,918 pounds of trash enter seas each day. National Geographic states that in some areas of the Earth’s ocean there are “garbage patches”. 

 Because of specific ocean currents and flows, the “garbage patches” have trash entering and never coming out. World Atlas states if people keep littering, it can lead up to “Soil, Water, And Air Pollution” in the future. And even more bad news, mosquito numbers are rising because littered trash provides perfect breeding environments. 

The mask littering affects not only the oceans. The masks have also made their way into cities and parks. The mask littering affects not only the oceans. The masks have also made their way into cities and parks. According to PETA, “Already, mask litter has polluted parks, sidewalks, and our city streets. Reports have been shared of wildlife tangled in the elastic straps common to most plastic, disposable masks”. 

 According to Apartment Therapy, “The best way to ensure that disposable masks don’t end up on the streets or ocean is to ensure they actually end up in the trash bins and eventually in landfills.” PETA also shares that removing the ear straps from masks and disposing of them properly can also help reduce the harmful waste that hurts animals.

Many animals are being killed by indigestion, strangulation, and entanglement of the mask and gloves. People should dispose of their wastes properly and, without doing so, the ocean can become even more contaminated and polluted than before there was a pandemic.