July 03, 2020 08:39
Hundreds of thousands of face masks are thrown away each day in Korea, and some are just tossed on the street. The problem is these masks are woven from synthetic resin fibre threads, and if these threads end up in rivers or oceans, they can break down into micro-plastics, which cause serious environmental damage.
The Environment Ministry advises people to throw away masks as general waste in garbage bags, which are then either be buried or burned. Masks from hospitals are categorized as medical waste and are immediately sent for incineration.
Experts do not recommend recycling given the mixed chemical substances and the risk of virus transmission.
At least 800 million face masks have been disposed of in Korea since February. While the country comes up with a long-term solution to deal with the mask waste, experts are urging people to dispose of them properly to minimize environmental damage.
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