Are disposable Covid masks the Isle of Wight’s new scourge?

Since the first Covid-19 lockdown, in March 2020, the Isle of Wight County Press has been reporting on the amazing efforts of crafters, who have been making fabric, washable masks for those who need them.

Since July 2020, Islanders have been required to wear masks and face-coverings in shops and also on public transport.

Meanwhile, since they returned to school on March 8, secondary pupils on the Island have been required to wear masks in their classrooms, as well as in corridors.

In December, the World Health Organisation said masks were part of a comprehensive strategy of measures to stop the transmission of Covid-19 and advised it should be ‘a normal part of being around other people’.

It said the appropriate use, storage and cleaning, or disposal, of masks is essential to make them as effective as possible.

With a surge in the use of masks – and disposable, single-use masks becoming more common place on shop counters – there has been a rise in the number of them being abandoned on our streets.

Unlike with other bits of litter, it might not be safe to pick them up and put then in the nearest bin, and how big a problem is it, anyway?

If you have spotted a discarded mask, send us a photo using the link below and tell us where you saw it.

We plan to create a gallery of photos, identify the worst affected parts of the Isle of Wight, as tourism returns, and will ask what can be done to stop it. 

Isle of Wight County Press | News