Written by Md. Robiul Hossain
The deadly COVID 19 is rising again around the world. Experts are pointing out that the second wave of coronavirus has started in our country. The use of protective equipment like Masks, Gloves, Personal protective equipment (PPE), Sanitization has increased as a result of COVID 19. This protective equipment is being discarded after use as there is no specific policy.
Bangladesh is one of the most populated countries in the world. The environment of the capital Dhaka and other districts has started getting polluted due to COVID 19 wastage. In this situation, the wastage of COVID 19 becomes a new threat to public health and the environment. This equipment is made of plastic which is useable once. These products can last up to four hundred and fifty years on land or in water. That’s why masks and other protective materials made of plastic have become one of the causes of land, river, and sea pollution. After all, they fall to the bottom of the sea. As a result, the biodiversity and the environment of the sea will have a detrimental effect in the future.
In Bangladesh, there are almost 650 governmental medication centers, 5055 private hospitals, 141903 clinic beds. It produces 1.63-1.99 kg every day. But there is no specific method to manage this waste. So these harmful wastes cause serious damage to the environment like soil pollution. Soil pollution disrupts crop production on land and is also harmful to beneficial soil microorganisms. As well as directly and indirectly these wastes have harmful effects on the body. At the same time, it caused water pollution considerably all around the world, while Bangladesh is not an exception in this case.
No matter how much vaccine is used to control COVID 19, the mask is one of the best tools to prevent the Corona Virus. In 2019 gloves and disposal masks sold for 800 million dollars in the world. In 2020 it has increased to 16 billion dollars. This shows how the use of these masks and gloves has increased during corona. Experts say that these disposable face masks can be a major cause of environmental pollution. They also say that 75% of the used masks in the world are mixed in the land or sea. The Unimask CEO Kapil Bhatia told the media that most disposal masks made of polypropylene do not mix easily with soil. Every year 6 million tons of plastic are dumped in the sea. Gradually it enters our food chain.
The Biggest problem we have is that we always think of the immediate. We don’t think it will have any effect in the future. To stop these kinds of pollution, public awareness should be created among the general people. The government should formulate effective policies on COVID wastage management. Otherwise greater danger will wait for us in the future.