Tons of pandemic-related waste polluting oceans, beaches, study finds

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – A new study has found some 8 million tons of pandemic-related plastic waste is quickly polluting the oceans worldwide and posing a danger to marine life.

The study, from the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), found that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the demand and use of single-use plastic and is adding to an already “exasperated” environmental issue.

According to the study, the waste has been created by 193 countries, and 26,000 tons of that waste is already in the world’s oceans and further polluting beaches.

The study researchers said that animals are getting caught in the plastics and even ingesting them, leading to injury and death.

According to the study, Asia is responsible for most of the global plastic waste, at 72%.

“While it is suspected to be large, the magnitude and fate of this pandemic-associated mismanaged plastic waste are unknown,” the report stated.

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