‘Out of control’ pandemic waste spewed into oceans
According to a new study, 25,000 tonnes of pandemic-related plastic trash, including gloves and masks, has been found in the oceans. The main culprit is hospitals, not individuals.
“The recent Covid-19 pandemic has led to an increased demand for single-use plastic, intensifying pressure on this already out-of-control problem,”In a paper published at the US National Academy of Sciences, a collaboration of American and Chinese scientists wrote. “More than eight million tons of pandemic-associated plastic waste have been generated globally, with more than 25,000 tons entering the global ocean,”These were added.
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This study does not represent the first to connect the rash of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), produced in the outbreak to an increase in pollution. Face masks, which now litter high streets and beaches with their ubiquitous presence, can take hundreds of years to decay. They also leach harmful microplastics from the environment as they degrade. Scientists have called for more eco-friendly materials to be used in PPE production, with an estimate of 129 billion masks worldwide and 65 billion gloves being worn each month.
However, the latest research identifies where and how much of the waste is coming from. Nearly 90% of the discarded PE is generated by hospitals, while only 7% are generated by individuals. Only 10 rivers carry the majority of waste into the ocean, accounting for 79 percent.
Overall, Asian rivers have 73% of all waste-related discharges, while European rivers only account for 11%.
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Scientists claim that plastics and other chemicals are SHRINKING PENIS SIZES, reducing fertility and imperiling the human race.
This waste, once it is in the sea, remains close to the source. There are three hotspots: East, South Asia and South Africa. One-third of the waste is dissolved in the water and one-third sinks to seabed. Seventy percent ends up washed up along the coast.
According to the researchers, “the pandemic will not be completely controlled in a couple of years,”A further 34,000 tons worth of PPE will go unutilized and end up in oceans. Many of these items contribute to the huge environmental problems. “garbage patches”In the North, South Atlantic and Pacific Oceans as well as in the Indian Ocean. Some of the trash has been found to be in the Arctic Ocean, which was also identified by researchers as an area where it will rest. “special concern”Because of its high climate change sensitivity.
While PPE’s impact on the environment may appear to be severe, the pandemic-related problem is still a small drop in the ocean. It accounts for 1.5% (from rivers) of all the plastics found in oceans.
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