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mask litter

  • Discarded cigarette butts, empty cans and bottles have been fouling Southwest Florida’s beaches, preserves and parking lots for as long as people have been using such items, and now there is a new scourge being mixed in: discarded face masks used to protect the wearer from Covid-19. Masks come in many shapes and sizes, but one commonality is too many of them are being discarded everywhere except in a trash can. “Mask litter” is a worldwide problem with serious environmental ramifications. A report published in the journal Nature Sustainability finds a “skyrocketing” increase in mask littler in 14 months in 11 countries including the United States, a finding the study’s authors called “devastating.