Discarded coronavirus face masks and gloves rising threat to ocean life, conservationists warn
The bright colours of latex gloves risk can be mistaken as food by seabirds, turtles and other marine mammals putting them at risk of severe injuries and death.
The rise in disposable face masks and gloves being used to prevent the spread of coronavirus is adding to the glut of plastic pollution threatening the health of oceans and marine life, environmentalists warn.
On Wednesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order, effective this weekend, that New Yorkers must now wear a mask when out in public in situations where social distancing isn’t possible.
On social media, pictures of bright blue gloves and crumpled masks littering streets, shopping carts, parking lots, beaches and green spaces are being posted around the world. It’s left to sanitation workers and grocery story staff, those essential but underpaid frontline employees, to pick them up.
Those not picked up can be caught by a gust of wind or washed down drains, ending up in the ocean and waterways.