Disposable face masks are increasingly being found in cities and beauty spots across the UK, according to research conducted by clothing brand Regatta.
54 million face masks are making it to a landfill every single day.
However, the concern is growing about the number of face masks that are being improperly disposed of around, research conducted by Regatta revealed that 90% of people admit to seeing a face mask discarded in their area every week.
This problem is made even worse by the fact that the majority of people have said they would not feel comfortable picking a mask up on the street to put in the bin, likely to do with the threat of coronavirus contamination.
The RSPCA has recently spoken about the dangers these masks can pose to marine and wildlife.
Chris Sherwood, chief executive officer at RSPC said: ‘We’re concerned discarded face masks could become a significant hazard, particularly to wild animals and birds.
‘Our RSPCA officers have had to rescue animals from getting tangled in face masks and we expect that this may go up as time goes on, so the best thing to do is to simply cut the elastic ear straps in half before throwing it away.’
Based on these findings, Regatta is calling on people to re-think their habits by encouraging them to choose re-usable masks instead of disposable ones.
A spokesperson for Regatta said: ‘Now that masks are part of peoples’ daily lives, it’s encouraged to choose ones that are re-usable and be washed at home on a 60-degree wash to ensure they are safe to use again.
‘If it’s not possible, then blue face masks should always be disposed of properly after every use and the ties that go around the ears should be cut, so as to avoid any harm to animals. This will at least mitigate the risk these masks are having to our wildlife until you have run out and can pick up a re-usable mask instead.’
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