Onset of COVID-19 has destroyed the normal life style of humans, where animals remain unaffected. With no vaccination in sight, wearing hand gloves, face masks and using sanitizers is going to be new normal for all of us. But, a bigger issue at hand is, the single use mask and gloves, bottles of sanitizer is causing plastic pollution caused not only by one country, but by every country. This stuff has landed in oceans causing plastic pollution without any possibility of recycling.
With a confinement that lasted for two months, people were allowed out only to get medicines, grocery, milk or medical treatment. This caused the people to use masks, gloves to protect themselves or others from spreading the infection if there is any chance.
Corona Plastic Pollution
With this, the next problem that came into sight was the masks and the disposable gloves along with all the plastic ended up on street and eventually in the landfill. This caused Corona Plastic pollution. And this issue isn’t confined to cities. It has become a worldwide issue as huge as the corona virus itself. Some masks have ended up in water bodies that wash out these masks on the shore.
Environmentalists are concerned about the wildlife when these masks are strewn across the land and the other parts of the world. It is important to use things like disposable masks and gloves to stay away from contamination but their proper disposal method should not be overlooked. With improper disposal, the waste masks and gloves can end up in the seas and oceans during the rains causing plastic pollution.
Above this, masks are so light in weight; they blow away if the atmosphere is windy. Therefore, improper disposal of these things can pollute the environment and also can be a cause of new infection because those masks and gloves were used by someone.
When these things get into water, they pose a life threat to the aquatic animals and life causing plastic pollution in the ocean. When the masks and gloves stay in water for a long time, they don’t disintegrate. Instead, the algae starts growing on them and the turtles think of it as food.
What should be done to Protect Ourselves Along with the Environment?
While latex rubber gloves, PPE body suit and disposable masks have been causing damage to our environment, you should opt for washable face masks and hand gloves made from fabric. It is very environment friendly to use such masks and gloves that can be washed at home daily. It prevents infection as well as damage to the environment.
And even if you need to dispose the fabric-made gloves and masks, it will still be an environment friendly option. The plastic waste cannot be completely eliminated immediately. It takes a considerable amount of time to do that. Until then, we should use the things that damage the environment in the least possible way. You cannot eliminate the usage of plastic sanitizer bottles completely.
Hence, until an option to that is found, a proper disposal method should be found out. You can also carry hand wash to wash the hands regularly instead of using disposable sanitizer bottles. PPE kits are generally non-reusable hence, an alternative to that should also be considered and thought of.
In the race of staying safe in the global pandemic, we should not forget our duty towards nature and environment. It is our duty to protect it at every cost. Therefore, we should minimize and eventually stop the plastic waste. Plastic waste has affected our nature and the life around us in the worst way possible. It is about time we thought about our flora and fauna before they are completely destroyed.
We are the most intelligent species of the life possible, on the Earth, and it is our moral duty to not use our intelligence in a way that would damage the lives around us. We all should switch to sustainable things to save nature because once it is lost, it would be lost forever.