How to Reduce Pandemic Pollution Caused by Disposable Masks

Pandemic Pollution

Pandemic pollution has become a global issue caused by the frequent use of plastics, gloves and disposable masks. 

Every month, an estimated 150 billion disposable face masks are used and discarded. As a result, they are piling up in landfills, floating around in the ocean, and littering the streets. Most disposable surgical masks are manufactured with plastics and harmful chemicals, which means it can take decades to hundreds of years for them to decompose.

Our planet is already dealing with an extreme waste crisis. An estimated 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic waste are polluting our oceans, trillions of tons of solid waste sit in landfills, and we are just producing more every day. 

These statistics might sound daunting, but there is something we can do about it. Making a conscious choice to purchase environmentally friendly items and dispose of trash properly are two small ways we can work together to make a big difference. 

Pollution Caused by Face Masks

Pollution caused by face masks poses a serious threat to our delicate environment. Under certain conditions, a virus can live on a mask for up to seven days, which risks the health of people who make an effort to clean up mask pollution.

Furthermore, disposable masks that collect in the environment can smother ecosystems and disrupt delicate life balances. When masks break down into small plastic pieces, some animals may ingest them, mistaking them for food or by accident.

This can lead to the animal suffocating, choking, or becoming malnourished because their stomachs are full of plastic and there is no room for food. Small animals can get tangled in the elastic part of the masks and asphyxiate or become unable to break free.

As the masks break down into millions of tiny pieces of microplastic, they can carry harmful bacteria and chemicals through the food chain and make their way into the food and water we consume.

The implications of global mask pollution are serious and cannot be ignored. Although mask requirements aren’t as widespread as they were in 2020, there are still individuals who need or want to wear a mask in public. In addition, the healthcare industry will continue to need medical-grade face masks long after the COVID-19 virus and its variants such as Delta and Omicron are effectively managed.

Therefore, we need a solution.

Biodegradable Face Masks

Reusable face masks are good for decreasing the number of disposable face masks a person uses, but they are not suitable for medical use. As the medical field uses disposable masks more frequently, there needs to be a face mask pollution solution that works for doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals.

A recent study suggests that fabric masks only offer 37% particle protection. On the other hand, disposable medical-grade masks are tested to have protection rates of about 95%.

ELoMed biodegradable face masks are the perfect product to bridge the gap between medical-grade masks and masks that are environmentally friendly.

Every ELoMed bio face mask is made with plant-based materials such as corn, sugar cane, sugar beet, and cassava. Furthermore, they are lab-tested to have a >98% protection rate, which means they are approved for use in the medical field.

Biodegradable face masks are currently the best weapon against pandemic pollution, the global mask waste crisis, and viruses that can be spread through particles in the air. If we work together to make biodegradable masks the standard - not the exception - we can effectively combat this crisis and keep masks from harming the environment, animals, and human beings. 

Proper Mask Disposal

We understand that you may find yourself in a situation where you need to use a conventional disposable face mask. If you do use a face mask made with plastic materials, be sure to dispose of it properly - this is the best way to ensure your mask doesn’t end up in nature.

Wear your mask until you get to your destination and then throw it directly into the garbage can. Make sure there is a liner in the garbage can so there is no chance that the mask will fall out when it is transferred to a larger bin.

Shop ELoMed Bio Face Masks

ELoMed is a woman-owned, minority-owned and operated small business in the USA on a mission to reduce plastic waste and create a new vision for the future of the environment. Contact us today or make an account if you are interested in placing a wholesale order!