By Kenny Choi

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — A new study reveals that a lot more trash — including PPE — is ending up in our oceans.

It a price being paid in our waters and on shores, where millions of pounds of plastic trash generated during the fight against COVID is ending up.

A new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals that the worldwide battle against COVID generated 8.4 million tons of plastic trash.

From that, 57 million pounds ended up in our oceans. Experts say 2 billion single-use face masks are being used each day.

“Eventually it will become small and consumed by marine life as well. We know that’s the cycle of plastic pollution,” said Surfrider Foundation coastal manager Stefanie Sekich-Quinn.

Part of the solution is to reuse, recycle, and inspire others to better manage their waste.

Soon after opening up Ocean Beach Cafe during the pandemic, Josh James teamed up with non-profit organizations Together SF and Refuse Refuse San Francisco to organize beach cleanups.

“Another part of the Keep Ocean Beach Clean campaign is to change the psyche of people that may throw their trash and to see if there’s a collective consciousness … (of) … people that might do that,” James said.

Researchers in the study predict most of the plastic waste from the pandemic — about 70 percent — will end up in beaches by the end of the century.