Our oceans cover more than 70% of our planet. And yet, we humans have found a way to completely destroy it by littering.
We’re all too familiar with humans littering plastic bags and food packaging that found their way into our oceans. And now, we’re doing the same with our face masks.
Based on a report by Hong Kong-based marine conservation organization OceansAsia, it was estimated that more than 1.56 billion of the approximately 52 billion face masks produced in 2020 alone have become a threat to marine life.
Most face masks are made from polypropylene, which takes at least 450 years to decompose. Plus, the microplastic material released from face masks will adversely affect the life cycle of fishes when it enters the cavities of marine life.
While we haven’t been allowed to visit beaches for some time due to the lockdowns, we have still found a way to threaten the lives of sea creatures.
And we will be the ones to face the consequences of our actions, as the country’s marine resources are said to only last less than 30 years.
According to Sinar Harian, the Fisheries Department had previously also found that stocks of demersal fish such as mullet fish, kerisi, the lolong bara fish, shrimp and squid have declined to 21,002 tonnes in 2016, as compared to 473,345 tonnes 60 years ago.
And our current actions will only further cause this decline, which will have a domino effect that will also cause seafood prices to increase.
Hence, the least we can do, if we want to be able to enjoy our favourite seafood dishes without having to face skyrocketing prices, is to stop littering and follow the Ministry of Health’s (KKM) instructions on how to dispose of our face masks properly.
Here are their instructions:
- Remove the face mask.
- Make sure your hands do not touch the outside of the face mask.
- Fold the two used face masks.
- Roll up the face mask.
- Put the face mask in a plastic or paper bag.
- Throw the face mask in the rubbish bin.
- Wash hands after disposing of the face mask.
What do you think about this? Let us know in the comment section.