The Way Covid-19 Affecting the Environment

The governments need to think to tackle the waste that is generating because of this pandemic as in the future

There is no doubt that COVID-19 brings drastic changes to the lifestyle of people across the globe. Not only the people but nature also, you may have listened or seen the incidents like the Himalayan range in Himachal Pradesh was visible from Jalandhar city or the Mountain Range of Gangotri river seen from the areas of Saharanpur, the water quality of many rivers are improved, the air quality of one of the most polluted cities in the world, New Delhi has reached to the satisfactory level at AQI (Air Quality Index). All that because of the lockdown across the nation due to the COVID-19. Now, that was the one side of the coin, let’s discuss the other side of the coin.

The governments are ensuring that people remain safe and do precautionary measures like using hand sanitizer masks, gloves, and PPE kits (if required). This is the positive side of the story, what about the negative side? The waste that is generating from all the protection gears of coronavirus is causing pollution to the environment. The mask, gloves, and PPE are of single-use, the waste generated from them is in huge quantity because the protective gear is made up of single-use plastics from this equipment the use of plastic is increased worldwide. Between the end of February and mid-April, this year’s more than a billion items of personal protective equipment were given out in the UK (United Kingdom) alone, by this we can this how much amount of waste that the whole world is generating?

If we consider, only 10% of the population of India uses masks for a single-use every day, then in a day around 1.38 crore masks are been used and will become waste. The waterlogged masks, gloves, hand sanitizer bottles, and the other waste related to coronavirus are already being found around the sea beds and on the beaches and joining the waste of our daily life in the ecosystem.

The problem of waste all over the world, in February, Oceans Asia flagged the growing number of masks being discovered during its plastic pollution research. Masses of masks were found on the Soko Islands a small cluster off the coast of Hong Kong.

There are already 8 million tonnes of plastic enter our ocean every year, adding to the estimated 150 million tonnes already circulating in marine environments. One of the studies estimates that in the United Kingdom alone if every person used a single-use face mask a day for a year, it would create additional 66000 tonnes of waste and 5700 tonnes of plastic packaging.

All along, the maritime nations will be highly affected by this sudden increase in the amount of plastic waste in the ocean, as their ocean economy is dependent upon ocean health.

The ocean pilling up with COVID-19 waste is not the only problem that is caused by the pandemic to the environment. A recently large amount of factories and mines were shut down because of the lockdown and there is also a decrease in the number of vehicles on roads which decrease the level of pollution in the environment but because of the lockdown supply chain have been affected significantly, which eventually result in the decreasing in exports and imports. The effect of this decline leads to the consumption of products only in local areas which leads to an increase in organic waste and decaying of this waste leads to the emission of greenhouse gases like Methane and Carbon Dioxide.

In many countries, recycling of waste products is on hold because of the thread of the Corona Virus, many European countries like Italy and Germany have suspended their recycling operations. The United States of America and the United Kingdom have also put their recycling operations on hold. This is because of the issue that recycling centers need self-isolation chambers for workers to perform their work and there is one more issue that the waste that gets recycle might be having coronavirus which is not good for recycling workers as they will be prone to coronavirus. Because of the hold in recycling operations, there is a spike in rubbish dumping in many countries.

As most of the world was not ready for the virus and it spread at a very fast pace but now when the situations are in control like New Zealand, Germany, Italy, Spain. The governments need to think to tackle the waste that is generating because of this pandemic as in the future, this waste will going to be pile up and can become a headache for many countries.



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Ash Ketcham's Blogs: The Way Covid-19 Affecting the Environment
The Way Covid-19 Affecting the Environment
The governments need to think to tackle the waste that is generating because of this pandemic as in the future
Ash Ketcham's Blogs
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