More and more protective equipment is ending up in the sea as the world battles the coronavirus pandemic.
A report in the Environmental Science and Technology journal have estimated that 194 billion disposable face masks and gloves are being used every month worldwide.
Divers and fishermen are spotting more of this discarded waste floating underwater, causing problems for wildlife and the environment.
Most single use personal protective equipment (PPE) – such as gloves or face masks – are made from a variety of plastics.
Experts believe that types of plastic masks could then take up to 450 years to fully break down if they end up in the sea.
Even when thrown away correctly, it is claimed most PPE cannot be recycled because it’s seen as medical waste.