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COVID-19 PPE Invading Our Oceans

Here are the facts, 80% of the trash that we see in the ocean comes from the land. All it takes is one rainstorm and the random plastic gloves you may be seeing on your cities’ streets will flow into local rivers, then bays and reach the marine-life filled ocean…

According to the UN Environment Program, the oceans are already inundated with a flow of 13 million metric tons of plastic annually!

Trust me, I’m not throwing these alarming stats your way to add to the climate-anxiety, but rather as a reminder that we must spread conscious thinking when it comes to our trash habits.

PPE Products are now part of our norm. The demand for face masks alone is somewhere in the billions, which is why properly disposing of these products is more important than ever!

Although not much data has been released on Covid waste, there’s anecdotal evidence abounds: Environmental conservationists are finding gloves, masks, and empty bottles of hand sanitizer everywhere they shouldn’t be.

In France, members of the nonprofit Opération Mer Propre (Operation Clean Sea) said via social media “Soon we’ll run the risk of having more masks than jellyfish in the Mediterranean.”

All plastic in the oceans is bad news, but PPE pollution is particularly harmful for marine life, as turtles and other ocean life often choke on plastic debris, mistaking it for food.

Louisiana State University professor Mark Benfield told CNN, “I can’t think of a material better designed to look like a jellyfish than gloves.” The elastic bands from masks can lead to entanglements with animals.

So what can you do?

It’s critical you continue to take precautions, but consider swapping your latex gloves for more frequent hand washing.

And consider embracing reusable masks, such as our eco-friendly face masks that can be washed and used countless times.


Don’t let this be another item we’re leaving 

as a legacy to the next generation.


⚠️ How To Properly Dispose of PPE Equipment:

  1. See this poster from the CDC for how to properly remove gloves. 🧤
  2. After safely removing your gloves, dispose of them in a trash can. It’s recommended to bag used gloves before throwing them away and although some gloves can normally be recycled, during the pandemic it’s best to throw them away to keep everyone safe. ♻️
  3. Baby wipes and disinfectant cleaning wipes are NOT flushable! Even though some labels say they are please place them in the trash.

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