We’re addicted to single-use plastic and kicking the habit is going to take a lot more than going cold turkey. But this typology is not about plastic, though disposable surgical masks do contain a layer of plastic, it’s about laziness.
Masks don’t just fall off your face. You take them off, and ideally in the case of single-use ones, you pop them into the nearest bin OR you take them home with you and discard it in your bin at home. Judging by the amount of masks discarded on Amsterdam’s streets, not many of them are making it to any bin anywhere. Why is this so difficult?
Before March 2020 I rarely saw a disposable mask discarded on the street. In just a year they are as ubiquitous as plastic bottles, rubbish from McDonalds, discarded take-away cups or cigarette packets, plastic drink stirrers and straws. Congratulations, we’ve introduced another toxic strain of pollution into the environment with complete disregard for its effect.
Back in June 2020, The Guardian reported there were more masks than jellyfish in the oceans, and that was just three months in. Well done humans. What will the effect of masks be on animals into the future? Will they strangle turtles? Choke birds? Or block a whale’s blowhole or block its digestive system? I guess we’ll have to wait and see what carnage results once we stop screeching about how our liberties have been taken away.
With oceans and animals already struggling against a tide of polluted seas across the world, will they be able to cope with even more plastic particles at a time when we should be cleaning up after ourselves?
Met een mondkapje ken je niemand!
Brand your smile
A Balmain face mask will set you back €100, make your smile invisible and brand your face with a giant B effectively turning it into a mobile billboard.
billion masks ordered by France alone
Other sets in the series