Here’s CAPE message on #EarthDay2021 today.
[Image Desc: Ian is wearing a t-shirt with DCARA t-shirt and a blue cape. Behind him is a black background.]
[Screen fades to show Ian digging up with a shovel and then puts it away]
Notice that I usually wear my thick silver uniform and helmet? Why? It used to be cold during winter when I went flying! Now it’s spring time and getting warmer with flowers blooming and growing. So I’m taking off my warm clothing. Here’s my new look!
Why am I digging recently? There are many masks being thrown away! Piles and piles of dirty masks everywhere! So I’m cleaning up the mess!
Today we are celebrating #EarthDay2021! CAPE Man and friends have a message for the community — Earth is our only home so let’s do our part to keep our planet happy and healthy!
[Screen shows content: Here’s fun tidbit: Recent studies estimate that we use an astounding 129 billion face masks globally every month — that is 3 million a minute. Most of them are disposable face masks made from plastic microfibers.]
“With increasing reports on inappropriate disposal of masks, it is urgent to recognize this potential environmental threat and prevent it from becoming the next plastic problem,” researchers warn in a comment in the scientific journal Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering.
Disposable masks are plastic products that cannot be readily biodegraded but may fragment into smaller plastic particles, namely micro- and nanoplastics that widespread in ecosystems.
The enormous production of disposable masks is on a similar scale as plastic bottles, which is estimated to be 43 billion per month.
There is a greater concern than plastic bags:
If not disposed of for recycling, like other plastic wastes, disposable masks can end up in the environment, freshwater systems, and oceans, where weathering can generate a large number of micro-sized particles (smaller than 5 mm) during a relatively short period (weeks) and further fragment into nanoplastics (smaller than 1 micrometer).
That is a lot of masks being thrown away…what to do next??
What can we do?
How can we do our part to care for our planet? Throw away the masks in the designated trash or waste cans. Or use reusable cotton masks that you can wash and wear again and again!
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