Where does your mask end up?

A recent research from the University of Southern Denmark (SDU) shows that masks are more threatening to the environment than plastic bags.

By Danai Konstantopoulou, Saashmitta Norah Oyen and Jana Mahmoud

The mask pollution has increased in the last year. Photo by: Jana Mahmoud

Plastic bags and bottles were always the main threat to the environment but in the last year, the use of plastic masks has contributed to the pollution. Researchers Elvis Genbo Xu and Zhiyong Jason Ren warn that “masks release harmful chemical and biological substances” if not disposed correctly.

But where do masks end up? Are they being recycled? We don’t know that for sure. According to the SDU research there aren’t any guidelines on how to dispose of our masks.

Ráni Meister, a technician at the parliament said:

“I usually use the medical mask and when I’m done with it, I throw it in the waste bin. At home, I put in the kitchen waste bin and while on the streets, in the closest trash bin I can find.

I believe there is enough information but people do not usually pay attention.  Ultimately, it’s not about information it’s about knowing and doing it.”

This is written for an audience in the Nordic countries and could be published on https://euobserver.com/ in the category of “Nordic News” or “Climate Change”.