The COVID-19 pandemic has already impacted the waste sector tremendously. Medical Waste is one of the foremost unsafe forms of waste, particularly if it is not handled before disposal.
Medical Waste facilities handle various forms of waste from hospitals, which includes consumable things such as used gloves, disposable cloths and of course organic waste. These things are frequently light, but bulky.
The virus is extremely infectious, and can live for days at a time on surfaces. The only way to counter the pandemic is to mitigate the spread of potential infection as much as possible. It is equally important that waste management processes also had to be taken care of seriously in this Covid-19 crisis.
Disposable face masks and gloves are a nightmare of Plastics
‘Coronavirus plastic waste is polluting the environment’
Plastic waste - a growing issue as the demand for masks, gloves and other PPE spikes. Researchers from the UK estimate that if every person in the world spent a year wearing a single-use mask every day, it would produce 66,000 tons of plastic waste alone and 57,000 tons of plastic packaging.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is crucial to health-care specialists as they treat millions of patients around the world. However, face masks are now widely used among the overall population.
Impact on wildlife
Over millions of gloves and masks are used and thrown away on the streets every single day. We've found masks, hand sanitizer bottles, gloves and other coronavirus waste already found on our seashore and washed up on our beaches. And, if they get into the ocean, they become a threat to sea life.
One of the biggest concerns is that marine life might mistake the masks/gloves for food. We saw turtles, whales and dolphins washing up with plastic bags inside their intestines, and the same thing could happen with these masks/gloves.
Single-use masks are usually made of polypropylene, a fossil fuel-derived plastic that can take hundreds of years to melt down. In the meantime, small toxic microplastics are still dumped into our rivers, and are then eaten by hungry fish (and then humans, while we eat seafood). And although disposable latex gloves are biodegradable, nitrile gloves and vinyl gloves are not.
Proper treatment of the waste during COVID-19 pandemic
Disinfecting wipes, cleaning tools, rags, paper towels, mops and brooms must all be properly treated as if they were highly infectious. The same applies to masks , gloves, clothing or clothing and other PPE.
The Government merely recommends adherence to standard cleaning practices, perhaps with a more proactive approach to the cleaning of frequented areas or surfaces. In other words, teams and organizations have little more to sweep than they usually would. They’ll need to make sure they disinfect periodically.
Best practices of Waste Management in every House/Organization
- It’s always best to follow safe and clean protocols.
- We need not necessarily treat disinfectant supplies as infectious waste, but these items should be properly labeled and disposed of at all times.
- Cleaning supplies must not be reused when disinfecting surfaces or rooms, and garbage should always go to the appropriate waste bin.
- Should always wear a proper protective gear. Additionally, safe-distance protocols are needed.
More sustainable choices in this pandemic
Experts suggest people using washable cloth masks made of natural materials, instead of surgical masks - which is perfectly Adequate. Most people do use disposable gloves, although the proper hand-washing offers more protection than gloves.
There are more Eco-friendly products available on the market! And, there's no doubt that our leaders in the world and industry have the potential to facilitate environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic waste. As sustainable alternatives are becoming increasingly trendy it is an easy sell.
"We need to make sure in the future that we are ready for such pandemics and that we are ready to deal with them in an environmentally friendly way; it doesn't have to be one at the expense of the other."
Visit our page Biogreen Bags to check the huge variety of Biogreen Compostable Carry Bags, Grocery Bag Rolls, Compostable cups and Straws, Bio water bottles and so much more!”