As of Wednesday, April 15, 2020, the United States has injected over 11.7 million N95 masks, 26.5 million surgical masks and millions of gloves into the general public and health organizations, according to medcitynews.com. Health and Human Services (HHS) officials estimate that the U.S. would need a total of 3.5 billion N95 masks over the next year. All these numbers are in addition to what was already in inventory. The U.S. also indicated that it would stockpile Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) being flown in from other countries which adds another few millions.
Up to the present time during this pandemic, there has been very little information published to educate the public on how to discard used masks, gloves, hand sanitizing wipes, etc. It would seem a given that people would dispose of these in trash bins, however that is not the case, and a large percentage of the population opts to employ the smallest amount of effort when getting rid of the contaminated PPE. Pick-up and proper disposal of the portion of those items dumped on land then falls to the government and specialized companies. Unfortunately, our oceans do not enjoy the same treatment. Whatever percentage of PPE makes its way to the beaches will inevitably swim out to sea and have a devastating effect on our marine ecosystem.
Our reefs are already under a lot of stress. Invasive species like lionfish, global warming, red tide and irresponsible boaters and divers are a constant threat to the life of our oceans. Our beaches, a major source of income for Florida through the tourism industry, are also under enough stress. It is currently impossible to sit by the crashing waves and not notice the sand littered with plastic bottles, caps, bags and many other trash remnants. COVID-19 pandemic will not only offer a devastating blow to our economy, population and businesses but also to our Florida reefs and beaches.
Help The Trash Pirates save our ocean.
The Trash Pirates is a proud sponsor/champion for this event.
Free Kayak will be available!!