Millions of disposable face masks are being discarded every day, according new analysis by TradeWaste.co.uk.
The public waste company has estimated that 53 million masks are being sent to UK landfill every day after being thrown away often onto the street.
Disposable face masks are typically made from three plastic layers including a non-woven plastic fabric outer, a melt-blown polymer filter, and a non-woven plastic fabric inner as well as cotton ear loops and a metal nose piece.
The survey found that 58 million face masks are used daily in the UK with 10% being reused but 90% thrown away.
“We as a country need better disposal methods to cope with huge numbers of disposable masks being thrown away – most cannot be recycled”, says Charlotte Green from TradeWaste.co.uk.
“If restrictions and mask use continue then this issue is going to get progressively worse – action needs to be taken.”
The company estimate that 129 billion face masks are in use globally per month.