Sadly, every country in the world has recorded coronavirus cases. ranging from equatorial regions to giant mountains, coronavirus has left no stone unturned to affect humanity. Therefore it has been mandated by governments all across the globe to stay at home and get the necessary goods delivered to your place and to cover yourself partially while you are outside the premises of your home. A person needs to wear a mask and gloves (in extreme cases) when he is out for any social activity or get some goods to sustain at home. Meanwhile what we are missing is the rocketing increase in the use of plastic and non-biodegradable items which provides a hindrance to the virus to affect us.
Initially, there had been a hope that a slowdown of the world economy would be good for the planet, air traffic, commerce stopped completely. Cruise ships were stranded in ports and industrial pollution was reduced but the pandemic has had negative consequences on the environment too. the world was already drowning undersea of plastic waste but the pandemic is made the situation worst. A face mask that we use today and throw it randomly can stay in the environment for about 450 years before it can be converted to invisible microplastic.
Personal protective equipment also called PPE which is used by every doctor, nurse, warden, receptionists etc and even in some cases by chefs in restaurants and personnel employed in survey and data collection are made of plastic and other non-biodegradable pieces of stuff. Most of the times they are used once and then discarded. All this is resulting in huge piles of plastic which is not in a condition to be used again. Apart from the personal protective equipment, plastic has been used to deliver goods and packaging of parcels, food packs etc to be delivered at various locations. Post their use, they end up in large bins and landfills to be treated further to get rid of them. The increase in cases of hospitalisation has rolled out new problems like transmission of the virus can occur if anything in the hospital is used again for the different patients, in that case, most of their clothes and coverings are supposed to get disposed of and not used again.
The wider impact on the environment is now starting to become apparent as streets in various countries are full of plastic wastes and masks are widespread amongst them. wearing a mask is something that cannot be turned a blind eye to because it is the only way to cover your face and nose to prevent transmission of the virus.
At last, these large sacks of wastes are ending up in oceans and landfills which strongly destroys the ecosystem and creates an evitable imbalance. This has led to choking in animals and also caused a blockage in drainage, prevalence of plastic pieces in food items like doughnuts, nuggets etc. which in turns humans and innocent wild and marine life.