News Call To Snip The Straps Off Face Masks



Call to ‘snip the straps’ off face masks
15th September 2020

By Karen Pickwick

The RSPCA is urging members of the public to ‘snip the straps’ from used disposable face masks.

Dumped face masks have become a new hazard to wildlife since the pandemic started. The advice to snip the straps before masks are binned is given as new rules came into force in Wales yesterday (September 14) stating that people must wear face masks in shops and other indoor public spaces, unless they have particular health conditions or are children under the age of 12.

Chris Sherwood, the charity’s chief executive, said: “For many years the public have been aware of the message to cut up plastic six-pack rings before throwing them away to stop animals getting tangled in them, and now we are keen to get out the message that the same should be done for face masks too as very sadly, animals are susceptible to getting tangled up in them.

“Now that face masks are increasingly the norm…our snip the straps message is more important than ever as thousands of these masks are being thrown away every day. We’re concerned discarded face masks could become a significant hazard, particularly to wild animals and birds.

“Our RSPCA officers have had to rescue animals from getting tangled in face masks and we expect incidents may go up as time goes on, so the best thing to do is to simply cut the elastic ear straps in half before throwing it away.”