The use and disposal of face masks, gloves, face shields, and other types of personal protective equipment (PPE) have increased dramatically due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic . Many governments enforce the use of PPE as an efficient and inexpensive way to reduce the transmission of the virus . However, this may pose a new challenge to solid waste management and exacerbate plastic pollution . The aim of the present study was to report the occurrence and distribution of COVID-19-associated PPE along the coast of the overpopulated city of Lima, Peru, and determine the influence of the activities carried out in each study site . In general terms , 138 PPE items were found in 11 beaches during 12 sampling weeks . The density was in the range of 0 to 7.44 × 10−4 PPE m−2 . Microplastic release, colonization of invasive species, and entanglement or ingestion by apex predators are some of the potential threats identified . Recreational beaches were the most polluted sites, followed by surfing, and fishing sites . This may be because recreational beaches are many times overcrowded by beachgoers . Additionally, most of the PPE was found to be discarded by beachgoers rather than washed ashore . The lack of environmental awareness, education, and coastal mismanagement may pose a threat to the marine environment through marine litter and plastic pollution . Significant efforts are required to shift towards a sustainable solid waste management . Novel alternatives involve redesigning masks based on degradable plastics and recycling PPE by obtaining liquid fuels through pyrolysis.