Thomas Ivers

COVID pollution: impact of COVID-19 pandemic on global plastic waste footprint – Heylion/Cell Press

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Are face masks doing more harm than good?

The “mask debate” rumbles on globally during the pandemic however this research paper from Heylion looks at masks from another perspective entirely – plastic waste.

Plastic products have played significant roles in protecting people during the COVID-19 pandemic. The widespread use of personal protective gear created a massive disruption in the supply chain and waste disposal system. Millions of discarded single-use plastics (masks, gloves, aprons, and bottles of sanitizers) have been added to the terrestrial environment and could cause a surge in plastics washing up the ocean coastlines and littering the seabed.

Our comprehensive data analysis does indicate that COVID-19 will reverse the momentum of years-long global battle to reduce plastic waste pollution

Science Direct: Nsikak U.Benson et al

This paper attempts to assess the environmental footprints of the global plastic wastes generated during COVID-19 and analyze the potential impacts associated with plastic pollution. The amount of plastic wastes generated worldwide since the outbreak is estimated at 1.6 million tonnes/day.

We estimate that approximately 3.4 billion single-use facemasks/face shields are discarded daily as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, globally.

Read the full article on Science Direct

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