Updated: Oct 28, 2020
I feel like at this point in life I shouldn't be having to write anything about pollution.
But here I am living in a world surrounded by litter, toxic pollutants in the air and a vast majority of humans refusing to think about it let alone do anything about it. If there can be anything positive to say about the current COVID pandemic it is the effect that lessened human activity has had on the environment. I am sure most of us saw the clear water in the Venice canals which haven't looked that way for longer than I have existed in this world. Carbon emissions have dropped tenfold due to the airline and oil companies having lessened demand and even fewer cars on the road. NO2 concentrations in the atmosphere saw reductions of between 25% - 60% and no one has ever seen the air clearer. This is all incredible news as it shows that we can actually save this place, if we give nature the chance and space to nurture itself back to health it will improve and it is more than capable of doing so.
Unfortunately the environmental effects of COVID are not all good. There has been a massive increase in medical waste (as can be expected) and a huge portion of this waste is face masks. Now most of the public around the world are wearing face masks, and leaving them wherever they like... Face masks lying on the pavement as if they're the new chewing gum, floating around the ocean to join the rest of the plastic waste we've neglected to think about let alone throw away responsibly. Even if you are environmentally aware and responsible, lets say you recycle everything you can and throw away your litter correctly, further down the line it's not been handled as it should. Workforces have been lessened and shifts have been shortened and this has led to recyclable products not getting recycled, just dumped in a landfill alongside everything else...
It's heartbreaking to think as a single person you are doing your best and it's all for nothing. However this is where you can help battle this new issue, buy your products more responsibly. If it's recyclable that no longer matters so look for products that are biodegradable because it doesn't matter if these products aren't thrown away responsibly because they are designed to break down and become a part of the environment. I understand not everything you want will come as biodegradable but all you need to do is find what is because if everyone buys biodegradable then instantly the amount of waste left behind by humans is reduced.
Due to face masks becoming a huge pollutant these days some manufacturers are trying to create a biodegradable face mask however so far this doesn't seem to be something available at this time. This doesn't mean you can't buy them responsibly, instead of buying the average surgical face mask that are single use buy one that is made of cotton and is washable and reusable. Cotton is biodegradable however these cotton face masks are saturated in ingredients that stop them from being biodegradable but because they are reusable it is still 100 times better than using one face mask, throwing it away and using another.
If you are interested in responsibly purchasing a face mask I have a couple links below that you may like I have included plain black cotton face masks and some wacky ones. If these don't interest you then go do some research and find one that's right for you. I will also be creating a shop area on my website soon with links to environmentally responsible products so keep an eye out.