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COVID waste, discarded face masks are killing wildlife around the globe

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  • COVID waste, discarded face masks are killing wildlife around the globe


    March 26, 2021Animals, Coronavirus, Environment
    COVID waste, discarded face masks are killing wildlife around the globe
    by Chris Melore

    LEIDEN, Netherlands ? Recent studies are calling the millions of coronavirus face masks people throw away a ticking plastic bomb. Unfortunately, a new report from the Netherlands finds that bomb has already gone off when it comes to wildlife. A team of biologists is revealing the damage disposable COVID safety gear is having on the world?s animal population.

    The scientists from Leiden started their research after discovering a perch caught in a latex glove during the pandemic. For all intents and purposes, researchers call this the first Dutch victim of corona waste. Since then, they have been collecting data and evidence of the consequences of COVID waste pollution on animals worldwide.

    Biologists Auke-Florian Hiemstra from Naturalis Biodiversity Center and Liselotte Rambonnet from Leiden University are still examining how often and where animals are interacting the most with COVID products humans are discarding. Their samples and observations span the globe, from Brazil to Malaysia, coming from social media, websites, and local newspaper reports.

    Researchers note incidents of foxes in the United Kingdom and birds in Canada all becoming entangled in discarded face masks. Hedgehogs, seagulls, crabs, and even bats are all encountering the disposable plastics in the environment.

    In some cases, study authors say animals are eating this debris. There are reports of apes chewing on face masks and a penguin with one in its stomach. Researchers warn that pets are also at risk of accidentally swallowing a face mask, especially dogs.

    ?Animals become weakened due to becoming entangled or starve due to the plastic in their stomach,? Rambonnet emphasizes in a media release.

    ?Vertebrates and invertebrates on land, in freshwater, and in seawater become entangled or trapped in corona waste,? Hiemstra adds.

    Making homes out of coronavirus trash?...

  • #2

    Discarded masks litter beaches worldwide, threaten sea life
    By WAYNE PARRYan hour ago

    SANDY HOOK, N.J. (AP) ? To the usual list of foul trash left behind or washed up on beaches around the world, add these: masks and gloves used by people to avoid the coronavirus and then discarded on the sand.

    In the past year, volunteers picking up trash on beaches from the Jersey Shore to California, the United Kingdom and Hong Kong have been finding discarded personal protective equipment.

    The latest example came Wednesday when New Jersey?s Clean Ocean Action environmental group released its annual tally of trash plucked from the state?s shorelines. In addition to the plastics, cigarette butts and food wrappers that sully the sand each year, the group?s volunteers removed 1,113 masks and other pieces of virus-related protective gear from New Jersey beaches last fall...


    • #3
      bump this