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This April 4, 2021 photo shows a discarded mask on a beach in Point Pleasant, N.J. Volunteers cleaning beaches around the world have discovered and removed significant quantities of masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment. On Wednesday April 7, 2021, New Jersey’s Clean Ocean Action group reported removing 1,113 such items during beach cleanups last fall. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

PACIFICA, Calif. — Disposable masks, gloves and other types of personal protective equipment are safeguarding untold lives during the coronavi…

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Pacifica Beach Coalition volunteers Alec Juntura, 21, foreground left, and Kimmy Tran, 20, pick up trash near Sharp Park Beach in Pacifica, Calif., Wednesday, March 17, 2021. Disposable masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment have safeguarded untold lives during the pandemic. They’re also creating a worldwide environmental problem, littering streets and sending an influx of harmful plastic into landfills and oceans. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

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Pacifica Beach Coalition volunteers Iona Pratt-Bauman, from left, Anneliese Phillips, Sophia Woehl and Amaelia Bringas, all 16, pick up trash off Sharp Park Beach in Pacifica, Calif., Wednesday, March 17, 2021. Disposable masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment have safeguarded untold lives during the pandemic. They’re also creating a worldwide environmental problem, littering streets and sending an influx of harmful plastic into landfills and oceans. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

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Lynn Adams, president of the Pacifica Beach Coalition, shows face masks that were found discarded near her home as volunteers clean areas near Sharp Park Beach in Pacifica, Calif., Wednesday, March 17, 2021. Disposable masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment have safeguarded untold lives during the pandemic. They’re also creating a worldwide environmental problem, littering streets and sending an influx of harmful plastic into landfills and oceans. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

AP

Pacifica Beach Coalition volunteer Amaelia Bringas, 16, picks up a face mask while picking up trash near Sharp Park Beach in Pacifica, Calif., Wednesday, March 17, 2021. Disposable masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment have safeguarded untold lives during the pandemic. They’re also creating a worldwide environmental problem, littering streets and sending an influx of harmful plastic into landfills and oceans. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

AP
  • Updated

Lynn Adams, president of the Pacifica Beach Coalition, center, gives directions to volunteers before they clean areas near Sharp Park Beach in Pacifica, Calif., Wednesday, March 17, 2021. Disposable masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment have safeguarded untold lives during the pandemic. They’re also creating a worldwide environmental problem, littering streets and sending an influx of harmful plastic into landfills and oceans. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

AP

A discarded face mask lies in the street in San Francisco, Wednesday, March 17, 2021. Disposable masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment have safeguarded untold lives during the pandemic. They’re also creating a worldwide environmental problem, littering streets and sending an influx of harmful plastic into landfills and oceans. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)