Litter in Covid-19 times

Facemask in the forrest
Covid-19 Nature Photo

Lock-down has changed my habits, I don’t ride the bike to-from work because I only go down the stairs to my basement office. But I need some regular exercise, so I’m up for a daily walk with my wife. We have always been visiting the parks and forests in our local area, but now it’s changed from once or twice per month to once a day. Others has made similar shifts in habits, so a lot of new visitor to the areas can be met.

We met those newcomers, can spot them from far away. They walk slowly, deeply engaged in either conversations or listening to their device, many has a single use cup in the hand or in the cup-holder on the pram.

single use cup in the grass
I couldn’t go for a stroll in nature without a cup of coffee, and when empty the cup is annoying…

Another new habit is to use Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), maybe not a requirement as it it’s a prerequisite when you enter a shop, public transport etc. So, we probably all have a facemask tucked into one of our pockets, just in case we need to shop.

One of the stories in the news today was that the world is currently using 4.3 Billion facemask per day! Facemasks are mostly made from synthetic fibers that maybe torn apart but they will not dissolve into plant nutrition’s like cotton or paper might do. They will be torn into smaller components like micro plastics. Scientific researcher reports that they have found traces of PPE’s in the environment, in Netherland it’s been reported that facemasks are used by bird to build nests. In the oceans – where 5,000 tons of PPE remains per year is estimated to end – micro plastic enters the food chain. How much plastic would you like in the herring or cod you are eating?

Protective rubber or plastic glove in the grass
This glove was probably not need for a activities in these rural settings

When I’m swimming, I enjoy watching a shoal, it’s amazing how the individual form a coherent body. But when the shoal is made from bags and bottles, the joy disappears. But maybe I shouldn’t worry, PPE’s do deteriorate and convert to unharmful components…

Within 4-500 years… 

So please bring your PPE and single use cups (including the lid) to a proper recycle facility.

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