Do Not Litter Your Masks

For those of us who take note of the problem of litter (and who often bring along a bag to pick up litter when we are walking along a beach), we are accustomed to the plethora of styrofoam cups and single-use plastic bottles that have been discarded carelessly by our fellow citizens, some of whom seem to treat the environment as their personal trash bin.

But in the past few months we have noticed a new kind of litter that has become prevalent along our roads and on our beaches: Discarded face masks.

The masks that comprise most of the littering problem are the light-blue, layered masks with elastic bands for the ears. These are lightweight, single-use masks that blow easily in the wind and often end up along the shoreline and eventually in our waterways.

If the stuff that comprises litter is representative of our disposable society, then it is a good thing to see that people are using face masks, an indication that we are heeding public health warnings about the best way to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

However, being a good citizen in that regard does not absolve mask-users of the obligation to dispose of their masks properly, let alone give them the right to toss them onto public property.

So please be sure to toss those masks into a trash-bin — that’s as simple as it gets.

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