Preventing Masks from Becoming the Next Plastic Problem
Waste Management and Pollution Control
Face masks help prevent the spread of coronavirus and other diseases, and mass masking is recommended by almost all health groups and countries to control the COVID-19 pandemic (Brooks et al., 2020). Recent studies estimated an astounding 129 billion face masks being used globally every month (3 million / minute) and most are disposable face masks made from plastic microfibers (Prata et al., 2020). With increasing reports on inappropriate disposal of masks, it is urgent to recognize this potential environmental threat and prevent it from becoming the next plastic problem.