Despite many governments making them mandatory in certain settings, it turns out that standard cloth masks barely filter any particles at all, thus essentially making them almost useless for preventing the spread of COVID-19. Conducted by researchers at the University of Bristol in the UK, this latest study suggests such masks may even have contributed to the spread of the pandemic as they encouraged the people wearing them to believe they were acting safely.
Just as bad, disposable masks and gloves are also having a dramatic effect on environmental waste and pollution, with billions of them ending up in the sea. A study published in 2020 in the Environmental Science and Technology journal found that every month an astonishing 129 billion plastic face masks and 65 billion plastic gloves were being used worldwide in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Not surprisingly, therefore, the researchers say that reversals of bans on single-use plastics have been “highly supported by the plastic industry.” To read more about this issue, see this article on our website.