Disposable masks clog up reefs in the Philippines: divers talk about the threat of waste from a pandemic
Medical disposable masks have contaminated coral reefs in Caban Bay in the Philippines. Local divers are trying to clean up the ocean, but resources are scarce.
According to the Asian Development Bank, the capital of the Philippines produced up to 280 tons of medical waste at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Now discarded disposable masks are found on coral reefs.
Local divers are trying to clean the reefs of debris, but some of the waste from the landfill may again fall into the water.
Polymers from medical masks disintegrate into microplastics, which, along with food, enter the marine animals living on the reefs.