PandemiC vs PlastiC
The world pandemic is drawing a new landscape.
A new scenario where face masks have become star players of our daily routine. Sometimes because countries have made them compulsory in public, and sometimes because we voluntary choose to use them.
But these new protagonists are also shaking our recently awakened concerns regarding the issue of plastics.
So, is there any difference between reusable or single-use masks?
Last year’s campaigns against single-use plastic items were constantly reminding us of the harmful effects of plastics on our ecosystems. So, we must keep in mind the importance of making good use of plastics. And also of minimizing the use of masks containing plastic (a surgical mask takes about 400 years to degrade).
Then, us bananas, would like to contribute by spreading an awareness message.
Surely you have asked yourself “Should I opt for a surgical face mask or for a reusable one?. If I opt for a reusable face mask, will that make any difference?”.
It looks like the answer is yes !.
The UCL’s Plastic Waste Innovation Hub has published an article that highlights the following observation: “If every person in the UK used one single-use mask each day for a year, that would create 66,000 tonnes of contaminated plastic waste and have ten times more impact on climate change than using reusable masks”.
This new back-to-normal means a huge increase in plastic use. Since most of the masks are made of layers of plastics and are designed to be single-use.
Therefore, we encourage everyone to opt for a reusable face mask. Because returning to our normal lives seems to be irremediably linked to wearing a face-covering.
And all of us can help to reduce the amount of plastic waste and its negative environmental impact. It would be great if supermarkets, logistics companies, all stakeholders contributed to spreading the message of environmental awareness.
For instance, fruit paper stickers, boxes, … could include QR codes, drawings, … providing information about a sustainable use of masks. So, us bananas and other fresh fruits could remind humans, at their daily snack or on a supermarket run, of the importance of minimizing plastic and correctly managing waste.
A safe return to the new normal is up to each one of us, who can also opt for achieving it in a more sustainable way.