Absolutely everyone is copping side effects from the ‘rus, in one way or another.
It’s tough out here, but it would also be super naïve to assume we are the only ones that are copping the brunt of this virus. As a result of mak mandates worldwide, 52 billion disposable masks were produced last year. Of these, an estimated 3% escaped water management facilities and floated their way to join the Great Pacific Garage patch, which is already at a dimeter three times the size of France. Disposable face masks now make up 7% of the total area of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, consisting of about 5,500 tons of plastic.
Medical-grade disposable face masks (the blue and white ones you see everyone wearing), are made from polypropylene. Over time, these will break down into microplastics and leech into our waterways. It will take approximately 450 years for one mask to biodegrade. Basically, the word disposable is complete bullshit because they ain’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Obviously face masks are a must in protecting ourselves from the virus. However, the Australian government issued the recommendation that reusable cloth face masks are preferred for community use, giving them the green light for keeping you safe. Using reusable cloth masks helps preserve the supplies needed in healthcare and lessens the waste associated with single-use masks. Given the above figures are from 2020 alone, the switch to reusable masks is urgent in order to stop that garbage patch from growing any more than it is.
If you haven’t already made the switch, there are a few guidelines on the reusable face masks to follow to ensure they’re still effective. Not all masks are cut from the same cloth (geddit). They need to cover your snozz and pie hole at the same time, be triple-layered, and washed daily. For some reason, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) had to issue a warning asking people to not put their masks in the microwave too. I’m not sure why you’d do that, but just don’t, okay?
The main advice with all of this though is to just stay away from each other, which is easy if you’re in QLD or NSW now. But for when you do need a mask, we recommend this or this. One less side effect to worry about. Happy breathing.
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