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HK Marine Conservation Organisation Estimated About 1.56 Billion Face Masks Littered In 2020

Credit: The Guardian

As the whole world has been stuck in the pandemic since late 2019, the usage of masks is still very much important till today. Sadly, we aren’t the only ones affected by the pandemic, our oceans and marine life are threatened by humans littering face masks on top of all the trash that has been constantly dumped into the sea.

According to a report by Hong Kong marine conservation organisation, OceansAsia, it was estimated that about 1.56 billion of the approximately 52 billion face masks produced in 2020 have become a threat to marine life. As face masks are made from polypropylene, it will take at least 450 years to decompose. On top of that, the microplastic material released from face masks will also affect the life cycle of fishes when it enters the cavities of marine life.

Sinar Harian reported that the Fisheries Department found stocks of demersal fish like mullet fish, kerisi, lolong bara bish, shrimp, and squid have declined to 21,002 tonnes in 2016, as compared to 473,345 tonnes 60 years ago. Due to our actions, the country’s marine resources are said to only last less than 30 years.

If you are not sure on how to dispose of your face masks, follow the Ministry of Health’s instructions and of course throw them in the trash bin, not littering on the ground or the sea.


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