Face masks have quickly gone from the reserve of Far Eastern countries and hospital wards, to a must-have item for us all living our day to day lives. In the UK, the designation of face masks as mandatory is increasing, as amenities and workplaces resume business following lockdown. Aside from restaurants and bars, face masks will soon be a requirement for every indoor space where you come into contact with other people.
We all recognise that the use of face masks have a significant role to play in containing the spread of COVID-19 and in preventing the threat of a second wave of infection, with countries and populations the world over, united in their commitment to reduce their “R” rate.
There is however another significant threat posed by their increased use, particularly face masks which are single-use, plastic and disposable.
The Next Big Risk to Ocean Pollution
Hong Kong has been battling COVID-19 for longer than a lot of countries, and the impact of disposable face mask use was discovered by Ocean Asia when they visited Soko’s Islands of Hong Kong’s South West Coast. The team regularly visit the islands to investigate plastic pollution and its impact on marine life, but this time, one key thing stood out – significant numbers of single-use disposable face masks were washing up on the shore line.
Sadly, this is not an isolated incident and it is recognised that the use of disposable face masks poses a significant threat to our environment. If the entire UK population each used a single-use disposable mask daily, we would dispose of over 24 billion masks each and every year!
Do Your Bit By Going Reusable and Washable
We can all take steps to mitigate the unforeseen impact of the pandemic on our environment by choosing a reusable face mask or covering. However, the challenge here, is that home made re-usable face masks without filtration material, do not provide meaningful protection to the wearer.
That’s why we feel we have something special in our OmniProtect face mask. By retaining their superior antiviral and antibacterial properties for up to 210 uses, our face masks strike the perfect balance between safety and sustainability. You can read more about our technology here.