Social AwarenessSocial Issues

Coronavirus Personal Protective Equipment spread unseen pollution

The disposal of Personal Protective Equipment creating many problems for humanity

  • Billions of masks, gloves, and other protective gear are manufactured within a few months after the coronavirus outbreak.
  • Millions of masks are being manufactured every day. These used masks and gloves are thrown in the oceans without bio-medical-waste treatment.
  • One-time-usable protective gears are made by used cloths spreads other respiratory diseases.

According to OECD – Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, ‘240 million masks were used a day in China when Coronavirus was at high point’. OECD also added that a day before the coronavirus outbreak, China was producing around 20 million masks a day and it increases its manufacturing capacity up to 116 million masks a day –which is 10 times its domestic production capacity. Coronavirus Personal Protective Equipment spread unseen pollution.


Countries stockpiling the PPEs must be designed efficient solutions to dispose of all these protection masks and gloves after it is used. These types of biomedical wastes are potentially infectious and it should be treated/discarded properly because the disposal of this waste is an environmental concern and it could potentially spread the infectious disease of Coronavirus and other respiratory disorders.

There will be a long-lasting impact of coronavirus on economic globalization. Millions of masks a day have been thrown into the oceans without treatment endangering marine life.

Masks and gloves are made for single use and it is widely seen in daily life that these masks are re-used, especially in third world countries where the government bodies show ignorance about the spread of infections and infectious diseases. 


Many people on social media spread awareness on ‘how to use these masks’ and wearing ‘personal protective equipment’ in un-precedented crisis humanity is suffering from.

Pharmaceutical and Medical Equipment Exports

The US Bureau of Census reports that the US exports Pharmaceutical and Medical Equipment of $100 billion. Germany is still being the number one Exporter of Pharma and medical equipment exports in the world. Recently, WTO – World Trade Organization reports the top six Pharma and its related products Exporters are Germany, USA, Switzerland, The Netherlands (Holland), Belgium and Ireland.

The environment is paying the cost of ignorance and in-human activities

The less food consumption results in large amounts of food going to waste and this organic waste decay will release greenhouse gases. The pandemic has already shut down the traveling activities therefore, the governments will pay less attention to the ‘green issues’. Many viruses hit countries now focus less on recycling and due to the lockdowns, there is an emphasis on packed deliveries, which means it will skyrocket the packing waste pollution in the environment.

What we need to do as we all become a global economy of our world

A growing number of masks have been found along with the plastic as a new form of pollution. It is again pertinent to mention here that run on the toilet paper amid coronavirus outbreak and the hoarders of these essentials after using these wipes flushing into the toilets have increased the number of clogging in the sewerage lines. 

South Asian countries saw a huge spike in the daily reported cases, masks, gloves, and other coronavirus contaminated waste are already being found on the streets and ended up on the Sea beds, water canals, sewerage lines. The health care and sanitation workers who are at risk of exposure to biomedical waste are an occupational hazard too. It is not the responsibility of one nation to manage to dispose of this biohazard and single-used product which is finished up in the oceans washed up on our beaches. 

Thousands of tons of contaminated waste adding up every year into our oceans. It is estimated that more than 150 million tones of plastics are circulating in the oceans and these face masks alone will add more than a hundred thousand contaminated waste into it. 

Our collective efforts will sure reduce the impact of pollution in the oceans. We must ensure environmental sustainability and it is our responsibility as an entire global economy to save our planet for our future generations.

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