Masks and Marine Debris Pollution
In light of the pandemic, conservationists fear that there will be an uptick in the amount of single-use plastics that end up in our ocean due to improper disposal of personal protection equipment (PPE). Recently, conservation centers around the globe have found PPE when conducting beach and waterway cleanups. While conducting recent conservation efforts, we have found plastic gloves and single-use masks as well.
A potential increase in the amount of marine debris could lead to a surge in marine debris ingested by marine life. However, you can do your part in preventing this phenomenon by utilizing reusable items, such as masks. Reusable masks offer a sustainable alternative to single-use masks and as noted by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “washable cloth masks will offer the necessary protection.” When utilizing a reusable mask, it’s important to follow CDC guidelines and wash and sanitize the mask after each use for your health and safety.
Sewed with Sustainability
When shopping for a mask, find one that has been sewn with sustainability in mind. It is best to choose masks made out of bamboo, eucalyptus, or jute fibers, all of which contain antimicrobial properties that are sustainable. Additionally, masks made out of 100% cotton or organic pieces of cotton, such as our Sea Turtle Hatchling Mask, offer a great alternative to single-use items. We encourage you sign-up to receive notifications of when this item comes back-in-stock!
Purchasing reusable masks made out of sustainable materials helps improve the health of our essential ecosystems in more ways than one. These eco-friendly alternatives help reduce the amount of single-use items as clean textiles used for production do not contribute to negative environmental impacts. For example, organic cotton is made from natural seeds, without the use of pesticides or other harmful chemicals leaving the soil, air, and water free from contaminants that cause harm to our natural environment. As for bamboo and jute, they absorb carbon dioxide and releases oxygen much faster than trees. Furthermore, jute also enhances the fertility of the soil it grows on for future crops.
Lastly, consider researching the vendor behind the masks, For instance, select a company that considers their environmental impact, such as Wendy Barnes Designs, who produces masks and other items that alleviates the marine debris crisis. Remember, not all masks are created equal! Find one that checks all the boxes for our planet and our overall well-being.
In addition to opting for sustainable masks, such as our Viv&Lou Turtle Mask, replace other single-use items in your daily life with reusable items, including meal containers, water bottles, coffee mugs, cutlery, and straws. It’s vital that we consider our environmental impact and request limited packaging, especially as we see an increase of to-go and curbside options that commonly use single-use styrofoam or plastic materials. Forgo the single-use cutlery, and bring your own reusable bag to carry meals in.
The key takeaway calls us to leverage this time to take health precautions while restoring our planet in simple and sustainable swaps. Take your sustainable selections to the next level and consider purchasing masks or other PPE that gives back. All purchases made in-store or online at our Center benefits the conservation of sea turtles.
*All purchases made through Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s retail outlets directly support sea turtle and ocean conservation. However, the Choice Matters sustainable commerce program takes this one step further. The newly rolled-out program focuses on highlighting items in one of three categories (Made In The USA, Reduced Waste, or Responsible Sourcing), as well as items made out of sustainable materials such as bamboo and 100% cotton. Learn more at Choice Matters.