Letter to the editor: Disposable masks are the largest environmental hazard of our time | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: Disposable masks are the largest environmental hazard of our time

Sean Baker

It’s time to tackle the largest environmental hazard of our time. And I’m not talking about coal power. I’m talking about disposable masks.

Every day, over 4.1 million masks make their way into the ocean. And that isn’t counting the ones sitting on your street right now. Animals become entangled in the ear loops and die. The plastic masks take 450 years to biodegrade. That’s 18 generations that will be left to pay for our mistake.

Plastic bags were a similar nuisance, and we banned them for good reason. But I rarely saw a plastic bag laying on the street. Now I can’t go a day without seeing a germ-laden mask pushed into the slush.

The mandates force businesses to give away disposable masks, which are left to rot shortly after the time of reception. Many of them don’t even make it out of the parking lot.

Mask benefits are minor at best and temporary, but the destruction to the planet will endure for hundreds of years. It’s time to put a stop to the destruction. As the people of Summit County, we have a unique responsibility to protect the most beautiful wilderness in the world. Not bury it in dangerous trash.


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