Coronavirus set to cause ocean pollution!
It has been warned by conservationists, that we could now be witnessing the pollution of our oceans, as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. As it is, our oceans are already polluted by plastic waste, which is a big threat to the marine life.
But now, as a result of Coronavirus, the oceans are being littered with gloves, hand sanitizer bottles, masks and what not. These have been found at the bottom of the oceans, along with the usual other litter such as aluminium cans, disposable cups, etc.
This discovery was brought to light by Opération Mer Propre, a French non-profit organization. The activities of this organization are inclusive of the regular pickup of
litter along the Côte d’Azur.
Joffrey Peltier of Opération Mer Propre, described the find as “Covid waste” and said that the quantities of masks, gloves, etc., were not too much, but this was a hint that this could be the beginning of a new sort of pollution.
Laurent Lombard of Opération Mer Propre said that the authorities of France alone have ordered disposable masks, to the tune of two billion.
Laurent Lombard said on social media:
“Knowing that … soon we’ll run the risk of having more masks than jellyfish in the Mediterranean.” Along with this message, he posted a video showing a dive, in which in the sea near Antibes, soiled gloves and algae-entangled masks were found.
Opération Mer Propre has hopes that the images they are showing, will make people opt to wash their hands more often, instead of using latex gloves and also that people will use reusable masks.
Joffrey Peltier said:
“With all the alternatives, plastic isn’t the solution to protect us from Covid. That’s the message.”
French politician Éric Pauget, stated that Coronavirus masks often have in them plastics like polypropylene. He stated in a letter to Emmanuel Macron, the French president:
“With a lifespan of 450 years, these masks are an ecological timebomb given their lasting environmental consequences for our planet.”
Gary Stokes of OceansAsia says:
“On a beach about 100 metres long, we found about 70. And that’s on an uninhabited island in the middle of nowhere.”
Curious to know just how far these Coronavirus masks could have travelled, Gary Stokes then started to check on other beaches nearby. He says:
“We’re finding them everywhere. Ever since society started wearing masks, the cause and effects are being seen on the beaches.”
Gary Stokes adds:
“It’s just another item of marine debris. It’s no better, no worse, just another item we’re leaving as a legacy to the next generation.
Also, there is the strong likelihood that dolphins and porpoises in the area, could think that the Coronavirus masks were food. To this, Gary Stokes says: “We’re constantly getting them washing up dead and we’re just waiting for a necropsy when we find a mask inside. I think it’s inevitable.”