COVID-19 masks disposed by Metro Vancouver residents more than double to 260 million

Metro Vancouver residents disposed an estimated 260 million masks last year.

The number is 2.3 times more than the 109 million masks discarded in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic started.

On average, each resident in the region threw way 94 masks in 2021.

That’s more than double the 40 masks that ended up in the garbage in 2020.

The figures are found in a report included in the May 13 agenda of the zero waste committee of the Metro Vancouver regional government.

The report was prepared by Terry Fulton, a senior project engineer with solid waste services, and covers the broader subject of waste composition for 2021.

All in all, residents in the region disposed an estimated 710 million items of personal protective equipment or PPE during the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021.

Gloves, which are counted individually, accounted for 350 million, a drop from the 371 million in 2020.

Wipes disposed are estimated at 100 million in 2021, up from 48 million.

The BC provincial government lifted the indoor mask mandate effective March 11, 2022.

About a month later, on April 8, the vaccination requirement ended in order to access businesses, events and other services.

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