Yes that figure is correct…. people in the medical profession have to use disposable masks but no excuse for the rest of us…. and the surge in disposable mask use came at a time when we are clearly drowning in plastic. Single-use surgical masks caused "enormous" plastic waste, also they cannot be recycled through conventional recycling facilities so they are basically LANDFILL.
It was great late last year (in between lock-downs) to meet with the T.Y. students at Our Lady’s Bower secondary school in Athlone where together spent a morning making masks from their single use plastic whilst informing, guiding and listening to their thoughts about new ways to reduce plastic in their everyday lives.
Annie Holland is an Irish artist and photographer currently engaged in artworks that tackle and highlight, the growing problems of plastic pollution.