Why you need to cut off your mask straps

Posted by Imogen Searra on 8 September 2020

Disposable Personal Protective Equipment (PEE), specifically masks, are a threat to the natural world. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the demand for face masks and gloves has increased.

From this demand and incorrect disposal, a negative impact on the environment has been recorded.

While the new normal has forced us to reevaluate the precautions we take in public settings, we need to consider the effect of these PPE items and their lasting effect on the planet.

Straps on disposable masks may become entangled in a sea birds feet so it is important to cut the straps off before disposing of your mask.

Other marine animals may also become entangled and are therefore unable to move freely. This may lead to eventual death.

Other incidents include birds becoming entangled in trees with a mask wrapped around their neck, causing the animal to suffer by hanging before dying.

It is imperative to rather wear a reusable mask that can be washed, rather than disposable, single-use masks.


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When the things we fear the most become real… what is it going to take for human kind to change? 🥵 Throwing away, doesn’t mean things just go away… This is where your littered mask ended, entangling this beautiful creature to a tree branch for 2 days until it died. 👎🏼💔 • We must continue to educate everyone about the negative impact that littering brings to our wildlife! #stoplittering • We have reached 2000 gloves with #theglovechallenge and we have a count of 257 masks. Helps us spread the word and stop this nonsense! 👀 • Via @sandydenisuk . . . . . . . . . . . . #cleanthisbeachup #cleanthisbeachupmiami #covid19 #coronavirus #covidtrash #litter #masks #selfishness #saveourwildlife #saveourseas #planetorplastic #breakawayfromplastic #choosetorefuse #trashcan #streetlitter #saveouroceans #saveourplanet #noplanetb #isthisyours #trashtag #beachcleanup #cleanup #lovewhereyoulive #miami #nyc #canada #savetheworld #quarantinelife

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PPE pollution is similar to plastic and single-use plastic pollution in that it is a major threat to the condition of our already polluted oceans.

Leading experts from over 40 countries across the globe warn some cetaceans will likely be extinct in our lifetimes without action in our polluted, human-dominated seas.

The state of our oceans depends heavily on how we consume plastic. If you can opt for a plastic-free alternative, no matter how small, then do so. Now more than ever people need to wake up to the state of the world. Lockdown has given us time to reflect on the fact that the planet doesn’t need us, but we need the planet.

Image credit: Unsplash


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