Conservation groups have voiced the importance of containing threats posed by the amount of abandoned masks as the proper way of recycling used masks is still not implemented in most countries.
As most masks are manufactured using multiple materials, experts are calling for masks to be made from polymer alone, which would make recycling them much easier. Until then, it is advised to dispose of them separately in designated bins. More importantly, mask straps should be cut off to prevent potential entanglement risks for wildlife.
Degradable or reusable masks are also solutions to prevent ocean pollution. There are a number of designers and scientists making masks with biodegradable materials such as plant fiber.
Government policy is crucial when it comes to promoting proper disposal of used masks. Creating an easy-access disposal system is as important as raising public awareness of reducing the threat of discarded masks.