While the COVID-19 pandemic has had many positive environmental impacts, there has been a rise in single-use plastic usage.
"Countless surgical and N95 respirator masks that local people use to protect themselves from the novel coronavirus are discarded improperly, which means large numbers of these masks end up on beaches and in the sea. Once there, they pose a further threat to marine creatures that may mistake them for food or could get entangled in them." Source: The Sustainability Times.
Recommended Article: Don't let this pandemic ruin the fight against single-use plastics
Learn more about the common types of plastics, their use, and their prevalence in the ocean. See the chart below, as seen in this article from Scientific American.
Credit: Amanda Montañez; Source: “Sources, Fate and Effects of Microplastics in the Marine Environment: A Global Assessment,” edited by Peter J. Kershaw, (IMO/FAO/UNESCO-IOC/UNIDO/WMO/IAEA/UN/UNEP/UNDP Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection), GESAMP Reports and Studies, No. 90; 2015