And estimated 1.6 BILLION masks have ended up in the ocean:

They’re also creating a worldwide pollution problem, littering streets and sending an influx of harmful plastic and other waste into landfills, sewage systems and oceans.

Source: Masks and gloves are saving lives, but leading to a pollution problem | KATU

When people drop them on the ground, they often end up in runoff that goes into creeks, then rivers, then drains to the ocean.

By EdwardM