Coronavirus: Divers find Philippine reef covered with single-use face masks

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is washing up on coral reefs close to the Philippine capital, Manila. According to an estimate by the Asian Development Bank, during the peak of the Covid-19 outbreak, the city could have been generating up to 280 tonnes of extra medical waste per day.

Environmental groups are warning that the plastic inside face masks is breaking down and being consumed by marine wildlife. They’re urging the Philippine government to improve its handling of medical waste, to prevent further pollution of the seas.

The BBC’s Howard Johnson joined divers from Anilao Scuba Dive Centre, a group affiliated to the United Nations Environment Programme’s Green Fins, which promotes sustainable marine tourism in South-East Asia.

Video produced by Howard Johnson and Virma Simonette. Additional camera work: Mark Badiola and Jojo D. Lontok.