Threat to environment - GulfToday

Threat to environment


Picture shown for illustrative purposes only.

According to a recent report more than 1.5 billion face masks have entered oceans since the pandemic hit us last year. It clearly shows how careless humans are when it comes to maintaining the very basic of healthy practices with environmental concerns in view.

Despite a massive campaign across the globe on proper disposal of medical waste, we see personal protective equipment (PPE) being discarded carelessly, with some lying in the streets next to disposal bins.

With cases mounting, massive healthcare PPE production has been undertaken all across the world to counter the spread of coronavirus. So some stray instances of unhealthy disposal were expected.

Though it is good that priority was given to stopping the spread, awareness on disposing of PPEs such as facemasks should also have been done simultaneously. The most worrying thing is that the problem might continue until such time that the virus threat is contained.

Since millions all over the world use single-use disposable face masks, the proper and effective disposal of the same remains a concern. Therefore, waste management has become a challenging task even for health facilities in the world. The existing mechanism may not be enough to meet the high volume of waste from hospitals.

As the world has now adapted to a ‘buy and throw away’ culture for most regular consumables, including electronic items, the lack of disposal facilities has become a major concern.

Since the world is unaware of how long the coronavirus is here to stay, it is critical that authorities make provisions to effectively discard the PPEs before it become a huge environmental problem.

While health and government authorities need to tighten measure of medical waste disposal, it is also the right time that we too as individual consumers take measures to properly dispose our face masks and other items like hand sanitisers in a proper manner, and not dump them carelessly outside our homes.

We are all in this together. Let’s do our bit.

Ramachandran Nair


Related articles