Environmental Group Warns of Pollution From Coronavirus PPE

An environmental NGO in France has warned that masks and gloves are polluting the sea as discarded personal protective equipment used during the COVID-19 pandemic was found during a cleanup effort on May 24.

Videos and photos released by Opération Mer Propre (Operation Clean Sea) shows divers removing waste from the seabed at Golfe-Juan, a resort on France’s Côte d’Azur.

Operation Clean Sea said they recovered various items, including 62 plastic bottles, a plastic water fountain, as well as five disposable surgical masks and four latex gloves, during the operation.

The group’s founder, Laurent Lombard, said that “soon there will be more masks than jellyfish in the waters of the Mediterranean…!” (translated). “The health crisis has allowed us to see the best and worst in us. If we do nothing, it’s the worst that will happen when it’s simply a matter of common sense to avoid all of this,” Lombard added. Credit: Opération Mer Propre via Storyful