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COVID 19: Masks and gloves now polluting the seas!

Single-use masks, protective gloves and empty disinfectant bottles formerly used to combat the

spread of Covid-19 might soon pose a problem to the oceans already damaged by pollution, especially to the Mediterranean Sea.

According to UNEP, the United Nations Environment Programme, eight tons of plastic are disposed in seas annually, a development the Mediterranean Sea is not unfamiliar with: Although covering only 1% of the Earth's water surface, it holds 7% of the global microplastics.

Now the French NGO "Organisation Mer Propre’ is voicing concerns about the augmented amount

of ‘Covid-19 Waste’ found on the beaches of the Cote d'Azur. While the amount, the activists have

come across so far, is not yet overwhelming, there is a risk of disposable masks, gloves and

disinfectant bottles becoming a new, omnipresent factor of pollution (adding to the already known

ones like tin cans and plastic bottles) if there are no preventive measures taken in the near future.

The NGO's recently released pictures of Covid-19 Waste found wrapped around algae in the South

of France, showing the risk of there soon being ‘more masks than jellyfish in the sea’ have sparked outrage in France. The government therefore announced higher penalties for polluting public spaces, fines will now range from €135 up to €750.


CMS! just made contact with the Organisation Mer Propreto to learn more about the problem.

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