1.6 Billion Disposable Masks Entered Our Oceans In 2020
Plastic Pollution: A Lesser Known Side Effect
These masks are commonly made of polypropylene, which easily breaks up into microplastics. While the effects of microplastics on human health are not yet determined, these fragments are incredibly common in our water supply - for example, 94% of U.S. tap water is deemed to be contaminated.
Despite their single-use nature, disposable masks are expected to take more than four centuries to decompose while in the ocean. Here’s how this compares to other items we use on a day-to-day basis.