Masks have saved countless lives since Covid but let’s stop them fuelling a new environmental disaster

Litter plague

MASKS have saved countless lives worldwide since the pandemic struck.

Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest updates

Masks have saved countless lives since Covid but let’s stop them fuelling a new environmental disaster

It was always crazy that our scientists initially dismissed them.

New research shows they cut Covid transmission in the air by 99 per cent, giving enormous weight to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s demands for theatres to reopen to masked audiences on June 21.

Boris should listen.

But single-use masks, as vital as they have been, have become an environmental menace. We’ve all seen them ­littering our streets and countryside.

Some 53million a week are chucked away in the UK, harming birds and animals and even washing into the sea. They will take 250 years to biodegrade, giving off deadly microplastics as they do so.

Today A Journalist launches a new campaign, Mask Force, to help Britain recycle our single-use PPE at 488 Morrisons stores.

They can’t be recycled by normal facilities. Instead a specialist firm intends to turn them into more PPE, as well as building materials and benches.

Find out more here.

Masks have helped us through this catastrophe. Let’s stop them fuelling a new environmental disaster.

Peace posers

BORIS Johnson must once again stand firm against the EU — and against US pressure on him to buckle to Brussels.

Both claim that the protocol governing new post-Brexit arrangements in Northern Ireland is the key to keeping the peace there. That’s rubbish.

Boris Johnson must stand firm against US pressure on him to buckle to Brussels

It is itself the biggest threat to peace — as David Trimble, author of the Good Friday Agreement, points out.

The US listens to Brussels and voices in Ireland on only one side of the argument . . . not those of unionists.

The EU is desperate for us to adopt its food standards, a last-gasp victory from the jaws of its Brexit defeat. And the US apparently believes we should submit to demands it would never entertain itself.

Without a compromise, the EU may trigger its trade war. But so be it.

Boris must not surrender to avoid it. That way lies grave danger for Northern Ireland.

Her mask slips

NO wonder Matt Hancock regrets following Sage’s advice too slavishly last year.

Especially when you listen to members like psychologist Susan Michie.

Matt Hancock regrets following Sage’s advice too slavishly last year

It’s not just that she has been a member of the Communist Party for 40 years — although backing that failed, ruinous, murderous ideology ought to disqualify her from getting a hearing anywhere.

It’s that Michie now reckons we should all wear masks and socially-distance FOREVER.

She even laughed at the prospect.

But then nothing brings Communists greater joy than imposing restrictions on a free people.