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There's A Petition To Stop Quebec's Use Of Disposable Masks In High Schools

The parents behind the petition want the government to allow reusable masks.
Staff Writer
There's A Petition To Stop Quebec's Use Of Disposable Masks In High Schools

A group of concerned parents representing Pour Nos Enfants Montréal has started a petition against the policy requiring Quebec's high school students to wear disposable masks. At the time of writing, the online petition has over 1,200 signatures.

Pour Nos Enfants argues that the Quebec government should allow high schoolers to wear reusable three-ply face masks as a substitute for disposable ones due to the damage that single-use masks may cause to the environment. 

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We cannot create new damage to the environment when there is a better solution.

Alayne Moody, Pour Nos Enfants Montréal organizer

Dr. Kelly Martin, an organizer at PNE-MTL claimed that studies do not "demonstrate that procedural masks are more effective than masks made of three-layer fabric, which are made from tightly woven fabrics."

Often, Dr. Martin argued, single-use face masks are too large for small faces, "resulting in a poor fit and offering less protection against COVID-19 than well-fitting three-layer fabric masks."

Under the current policy, high school students and teachers are each given two single-use masks every day.

"Disposable masks have devastating effects on the environment," Pour Nos Enfants said in a press release.

The office of the minister of education, Jean-François Roberge, told the Canadian Press on Tuesday that it's "inviting schools" to use recycling services for the masks.

But the petition argues that the masks are "made from plastic that is not easily recycled" and "end up in landfills or pollute our urban and natural environments."

Based on their observations, Quebec high school students would use and dispose of "84.5 million masks by June 2021."

"Our planet is linked to our health and long term survival. We cannot soil it with single-use masks when there is a safe alternative," said Jennifer Roberge, Pour Nos Enfants organizer.

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