‘COVID Trash’: Masks, gloves wash into SF bay

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – The pandemic is having an impact on San Francisco Bay. 

You may see what bay watchdogs say is “COVID Trash.” These are just some of the PPE, masks, gloves, and other plastic-based trash picked up along the shoreline by the non-profit Baykeeper, says spokesperson Sejal Choksi-Chugh.

Whether discarded intentionally or blown from cars and dumpsters, one sees a lot of masks and gloves on city streets.

The recent rains may be a factor in washing the stuff into creeks, streams and sewers.  

There is no evidence the COVID trash may harbor the virus but much of it contains plastics and does not easily biodegrade and it’s not just masks and gloves.  

Baykeeper says it is also seeing a sharp increase in disposable food containers and other packaging associated with takeout and other pandemic related food services.

The pandemic has also resulted in fewer cleanup efforts which means some of the COVID trash could sink to the bottom or disappear in the weeds before it can be picked up.

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