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Ocean Pollution Report

According to estimates by Oceans Asia, 1.5 billion disposable masks went to the oceans in 2020. Experts estimate that their decomposition can take even 450 years, slowly turning into microplastics, while negatively affecting wildlife and marine ecosystems. The number of masks varies from 4.6 thousand, up to 6.2 thousand tons of extra plastic garbage in the oceans.

The authors of the report also point out that a big problem is an increase in the consumption of other plastic items. In 2020, these were articles related to the prevailing coronavirus pandemic, including gloves and disposable food packaging. Plastic consumption, which has been growing at an alarming rate for years anyway, has now increased even more as a result of the pandemic. Experts estimate that disposable masks are only “a small fraction”, as 8 to 12 million tonnes of other plastics end up in the oceans each year. The organization, together with the authors of the report, encourages the use of reusable equivalents, also in the case of masks. As experts say, we must work to reduce the consumption of single-use plastic items. Plastic water pollution destroys the oceans, kills mammals and sea turtles, fish, invertebrates, and other animals.