Disposable face masks are essential during the COVID-19 pandemic. Disposing of them properly is just as important. During many recent site visits around North Andover, the Conservation Department has noticed an increasing amount of face masks being littered.
It is important to properly dispose of masks in your garbage so that they do not end up out in nature and pose a threat to wildlife. After heavy rainfall, masks can end up in storm drains which drain into rivers or streams that eventually lead to the ocean. Masks that are carried this far then pose a threat to fragile marine ecosystems.
Some experts are now saying to cut the strings off your mask before throwing it in the garbage. This reduces the chances of an animal becoming entangled in the mask.