Environmental risk - GulfToday

Environmental risk

Coronavirus

Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

In quest of a suitable solution to curbing the spread of the coronavirus, humans seem to have created an equally, if not a toxic issue — that of improper disposable of face masks (“The disposable face masks that you wear may pose a huge environmental risk, scientists warn,” Mar. 13, Gulf Today).

Of course, that was expected, as no authority until now (I haven’t heard or read of any, though I would like to be enlightened on the subject) have devised any sort of plan on how to safely manage the enormous number of used face masks that have found its way to our dustbins, landfills and garbage shunts.

The article has stated that we are using a whopping 129 billion face masks every month. In a month that is an average usage of 2.8 million masks a minute across the planet. And most of these are disposable, just like our single-use plastic cups and bags.

The world is yet to find a global solution to plastic waste. Thanks to coronavirus, face masks is the latest addition. It’s been a year since the pandemic hit us, and yet we are clueless on how to safely dispose of our face masks.

Like always, the problem will have to get out of hand, before governments wake up.

Sunita Sharma — By email

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