ΝΕΑ ΔΗΜΟΣΙΕΥΣΗ – Botetzagias & Malesios – COVID single-use facemasks and environmental concern


Botetzagias I. & Malesios C. (2021) Do single-use facemask users care for the effects on the (marine) environment during the COVID-19 pandemic? Preliminary results from Greece. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 167:112320

ABSTRACT

This paper examines which demographic and attitudinal characteristics relate to an individual’s knowledge and perception of the environmental footprint of single-use mask s/he is using in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on a self-selected sample of Greek citizens (N = 462), it is found that demographic characteristics and pro-environmental concern are unrelated to the single-use mask users’ knowledge and concern regarding the environmental impacts of the mask they are using. This unanticipated finding suggests that the circumstances of the COVID pandemic may mute the theoretically taken-for-granted connection between environmental interest/concern and the awareness of environmental impacts, thus any future attempts to introduce more environmentally-friendly single-use mask alternatives and/or to curb the current ones’ environmental impact should start by reenergizing this suppressed nexus.