On England’s south shore, there’s proof of a brand new dimension to a classic issue.
Vinyl waste has plagued our oceans and posed a danger to marine ecosystems, but currently, there’s a new danger: personal protective equipment (PPE), broadly utilized to suppress the spread of coronavirus.
Shorelines in the region are now littered with the lost gear; a few are left by beach users, others are washed by the ocean.
Wildlife experts say the challenge is”absolutely dreadful.”
“We have discovered birds using their gullets filled full of latex gloves, a nest of dead girls — crabs tangled up in face masks — it is everywhere.”
“PPE is an entirely new strain of single-use plastic which we did not have in January,” explained Claire Potter, a maritime plastic specialist who directs a group of volunteers to clean Brighton’s shores.
“We are now seeing it cleaned up on the shores — it is coming in, we are also seeing it abandoned to the shores too.
“We can not neglect to care for our normal world and we can not forget those fantastic practices and behavior we learned.”
A 45-minute swim outside at sea was all it required Euronews’s correspondent to discover a lost blue rubber glove of this type widely used because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Campaigners say more needs to be done to fight the growth in single-use plastics such as these, particularly after so much work was done to increase awareness in the past several decades.
In 2018, the British authorities prohibited the purchase of goods containing microbeads – that the very small pieces of plastic once well known in decorative products, such as facial scrubs and additives.
After it appeared that the products ended up at the seas and were eaten by wildlife, experts estimated that a single shower may send 100,000 microbeads to the sea.
Local politicians in England consider that a feeling of consciousness shouldn’t be lost.
“We are viewing gloves, aprons, facemasks, and the like — we all will need to take powerful action on these things and be certain single-use plastics are phased out where potential,” explained Phélim Mac Cafferty, a Green Party councilor.
“And when they can not be phased out, which there are definite ways that they may be disposed of cautiously. “