The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the threat of plastic pollution, as disposable face masks and other forms of personal protective equipment have become ubiquitous. In a study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, researchers have suggested cutting back on disposable face masks, recommending the use of reusable masks instead.
In recent times, face masks and personal protective equipment have become essential, not only for healthcare workers but also for the public. Disposable N95 masks, for instance, have been in high demand to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These masks carry both a financial and an environmental burden. The authors estimate that the pandemic is set to create around 7,200 tons of medical waste every day, most of which are face masks.
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