Written by Naman Sonpar grade 7 student.
We have a new environment problem. It’s got to do with reusable masks
The wearing of single-use face masks by the the public would generate 66,000 tonnes of contaminated plastic waste. The UCL Plastic Waste Innovation Hub (UCL is University College London) has written a document which tells us about the government requiring the citizens to wear single use face masks as a precaution against the Coronavirus.
A single-use medical mask is made from layers of plastic which is a non-biodegradable substance and breaks into smaller pieces contaminating the soil for millions of years. Whereas, reusable masks can be fashioned from scarves, T- Shirts, handkerchiefs, towels and tightly worn fabrics such as quilting cotton.
Although these fashioned and reusable masks are not suitable for doctors and healthcare workers, research has told us that they are moderately effective in preventing the wearer of the mask from transmitting Coronavirus to other people, by reducing the range of exhaled water droplets which contain the virus.
Research suggests that reusable masks perform most of the functions of a non- reusable mask without generating any waste.
According to the researchers if every citizen of the United Kingdom wore a single use mask, tens of thousands of tonnes of contaminated plastic waste would be generated and ten times higher would the climate impact be than the reusable masks.
If the government intends to make it mandatory for the citizens to wear a mask while being outdoors, it should say that the masks need to be reusable ones only. This will preserve the single use masks for the healthcare officials and reduce contaminated plastic in the waste stream which will consequently reduce the climate change impact.
You should, from your end, help the environment and get single-use masks.
Say home, stay safe and save our earth.
Written by Naman Sonpar.
Naman is a grade 7 student at Shriram Millennium School.He is very passionate about environment and dreams of being a public speaker as well as an environmentalist.Naman is the Environment Expert at
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