Pandemia exponentially multiplies medical waste and reduces tourism.
This reduction of waste from the sectors of trade and hospitality has occurred mainly in tourist cities. Other important changes that have been reduced around waste management have to do with food waste during pandemic since, in response to the situation, international organizations and governments from different countries have begun to put into practice different initiatives.
There has been the stagnation of policies related to the reduction of plastic products and waste recycling
This new study says that Pandemia has brought with it "specific challenges" and, in a way, "has caused the stagnation of policies related to the reduction of plastic products and waste recycling." Researchers at the University of Science and Technology of Macao and the University of Tsinghua have systematically studied the potential impact of pandemic on waste generation and treatment and findings have been published in Frontiers of Enviromental Science & Engineering.
Pandemia has changed our lifestyle and even the environment that surrounds us. As a positive example, the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and nitrogen dioxide and the relief of water pollution was a fact during the first months of the pandemic. The most obvious negative data is that the production of waste related to virus prevention has increased very significantly.
Hundreds of billions of masks
The main component of the disposable masks that a large part of the world's population uses every day is plastic fiber and hundreds of thousands of millions throughout the planet are used every month. As an example, the production of masks in China in March 2020 exceeded 100 million. Before the pandemic, according to the authors of the study, the world already produced more than 300 million tons of plastic every year.
The masks are not recyclable. In addition, the increase in cases has made hospitals, health centers and homes, causes a huge amount of waste related to COVID-19, such as masks, gloves, test material and infected protection equipment, which, which Not only could the environment pollute, but they also have the risk of spreading diseases.
The propagation of COVID-19 has also changed household consumption behaviors. People buy more through the Internet. As a result of this online purchase increase, there may be an increase in the amount of disposable plastic waste, "which seems to conflict with previous plastic restriction policies."
In addition, the implementation of confinement and isolation policies could have led to a certain amount of food waste, but in the meantime, it can also help people improve awareness of reducing food waste, for which they have been put into March some campaigns by governments and organizations.
One of the problems detected is that they can far exceed the available capacity of management systems. Therefore, "it is necessary to update the strategies and plans for the emergency treatment of medical waste during and after the pandemic." Many countries have adjusted or updated their emergency waste management policies. In the opinion of the authors, the study provides "useful information to help effectively manage solid waste during and after pandemic."