Editorial: Put disposable masks in proper place after use

Published 8:17 pm Tuesday, August 11, 2020

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No matter how you feel about masks, we hope everyone can agree on one thing: Masks don’t belong left in the bottom of a shopping cart, in parking lots, in the streets, in the ditch or in any other place where litter ends up these days.

Though some people may still be frustrated that masks are required now in indoor businesses and indoor public settings, we hope people will respect our local businesses — and ultimately the community — and not throw disposable masks on the ground after coming out of businesses.

Instead, disposable masks should be thrown away in a trash receptacle.

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According to estimates, more than 100 billion face masks have been used each month since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic across the globe, which has the potential to add up to a lot of litter if not taken care of properly. Many cities across the country are starting to notice more and more of a problem with littering of these items as the pandemic continues. 

Disposable masks are only meant to be worn once, so to avoid the problem of having more to throw away, consider a reusable cloth mask that can be washed.

Several area stores now offer masks, and they can also be made easily — with or without sewing — using some basic materials. For instructions on how to do so, visit: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-to-make-cloth-face-covering.html.