Secure SSL-payments. Verified European sustainable fashion and living products.

The Danger of PPE, Slow Nature, Sustainable Face Masks, Face Masks Pollution

When the cure becomes the poison – the danger of PPE

April 27, 2020

PPE or Personal Protective Equipment has become a very familiar topic of conversation during this devastating crisis. Yet what if the PPE supposed to protect us from a deadly emergency is creating a whole new disaster of its own?

The Danger of PPE, Slow Nature, Sustainable Face Masks, Face Masks Pollution

Discarded masks, latex gloves and other disposable PPE pose a significant environmental threat. Medical supplies will no doubt be discarded properly, however this summer lots of people will head to the beach and as Coronavirus is very much likely here to stay lots of people will be wearing those masks and latex gloves in public places. Making sure these are properly thrown away will be solely our responsibility.

But we already know how this has played out with plastic straws, cotton swabs and plastic bottles that now pollute our rivers, seas and oceans. Will masks, respirators, gloves, sanitizer bottles and disinfecting wipes join the growing list of plastic trash?

As plans are drawn up to boost the production of masks for regular citizens, will instructions for their disposable be included? Will our oceans in 2021 resemble today’s supermarket exits with gloves strewn all over parking lots by consumers?

Just think how much more plastic will be thrown away with a sharp increase in the manufacture cheap, single use items. A microplastics expert at Louisiana State University recently started geotagging the PPE waste he was finding in his local area. Dr Mark Benfield said “It was a lot more PPE waste than I expected”. He has expanded that into a nationwide survey to track how much PPE is ending up on the streets.

The Danger of PPE, Slow Nature, Sustainable Face Masks, Face Masks Pollution

The problem is not just that they can’t be recycled and must go in the normal trash. Surgical masks, for instance, are made from plastics such as polypropylene and those respirator masks from the hardware store contain polyurethane. These are both virgin synthetic plastics that when entering the sewer system, break down into microplastics and poison our waters and marine wildlife with the chemicals they contain.

Although personal protection plays a vital role in keeping us safe, the potential environmental disaster really bothers us and there seems to be no other solution than asking everyone to use common sense. Even though there are no real options for recycling this material, we do have several ways in which you can manage your used PPE in this crisis. First of all check your country local guidance on the disposal of PPE.

What we have managed to find as an advice is following:

  1. PPE must not be thrown in the recycling bin. It is contaminated and needs to be placed in the regular trash.
  2. Place your used PPE into a tightly secure bag. Then place it in the regular trash.
  3. Always carry a bag you can throw your used PPE away in when you are out and about.

Stay safe during this difficult moment and if you’d like to help the environment, why not take a look at these sustainable manufacturers, that have manufactured fashion face covers. We have to make a disclaimer here: these face covers are not offering PPE protection and are not medical grade masks. But many countries advice to cover your mouth even with a cloth mask or scarf. So why not  support sustainable manufacturers, that are using hemp, organic cotton, upcycled textile and other green fabrics?


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in News about Fashion

Aspis – From Small Acorns Grow Mighty Oaks, wear the life, plant 200 oak trees in Northern Italy’s Po Valley, Dolomite forests, Emerald City, FairWear certified, organic cotton
Aspis – From Small Acorns Grow Mighty Oaks

March 02, 2020 2 Comments

We’ve had some great news from one of Slow Nature’s fabulous brands – Aspis. Their motto is ‘wear the life’ and they certainly do. Check out these photos from a recent initiative which saw the company plant 200 oak trees in Northern Italy’s Po Valley.

Read More

Slow Nature, UN Sustainability Goals, 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs), Decent Work and Economic Growth, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action, Partn
What Are the UN Sustainability Goals and How Does Slow Nature Live Up to Them?

February 29, 2020

The fashion industry ranks among the keys industries on the frontline of developing a more sustainable world. But just how do we measure sustainability? The UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development includes 17 target areas known as the Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs), designed to cover a wide range of subjects like our oceans, discrimination and sustainable consumption.

Read More

Slow Nature in Vogue Italian online, carbon footprint, climate and ecological emergency, green products and brands, sustainable fashion, eco-friendly and organic fabrics, socially responsible supply chain
Slow Nature in Vogue

February 27, 2020

Prestigious fashion bible Vogue gave us the honour of featuring Slow Nature on the Italian online edition. As major players in the fashion industry, Vogue cannot help but notice the industry’s growing concerns over the its carbon footprint and the devastating climate and ecological emergency we face. They rightly highlight Slow Nature as a response to these challenges and the difficulty the eco-conscious consumer faces in identifying green products and brands.

Read More


Give us only 15 seconds... We want to tell you something extremely IMPORTANT. We are an independent company created to put under the spotlight truly sustainable products. We are not owned by corporations, this is why we are able to prioritise sustainability in our agenda.

(10 seconds) 

If you care to support us, please subscribe to our newsletter. In the highly monopolised online search world, where the size of the advertising budget decides which company should be visible, we value a lot the fact that you have stopped by. It costs you nothing to subscribe, while for us it changes EVERYTHING.  We evaluate our work by the level of engagement with environmentally conscious people - when you subscribe, we make a new friend and get a proof that Slow Nature should continue investing in greener Planet.  

We will send you Sustainable Living Tips as an act of appreciation! THANK YOU!