World Environment Day 2020: COVID-19 Pandemic Has Thwarted The Fight Against Single-Use Plastic, Say Experts

World Environment Day 2020: COVID-19 Pandemic Has Thwarted The Fight Against Single-Use Plastic, Say Experts

World Environment Day 2020 calls for action to stop the degradation of the natural world, which according to experts, is accelerating with the increased use of single-use plastic in the form of personal protective gears against COVID-19
World Environment Day 2020: COVID-19 Pandemic Has Thwarted The Fight Against Single-Use Plastic, Say ExpertsAccording to experts, COVID19 threatens to undo the progress made before pandemic by initiatives to tackle plastic pollution
Highlights
  • Covid-19 has led to increased single-use plastic consumption: Experts
  • Experts say cities need better sanitation services and waste management
  • Take a pledge to shun single-use masks and gloves: Plogger Ripu Daman Bevli

New Delhi: While on one hand, the world is scrambling to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic which has claimed over 3.9 lakh deaths worldwide, now, on the other hand, there are also threats of the reversing of gains made by anti-single-use plastic initiatives and experts are projecting even further increase of plastic waste due to the coronavirus. Expressing concerns over the rising plastic waste and the pandemic hampering efforts towards fighting the issue, experts say that on the occasion of World Environment Day, people should rethink their reliance on single-use plastic including single-use masks and gloves.

Also Read: World Environment Day 2020: All You Need To Know

According to Priti Mahesh, Chief Programme Coordinator at Toxics Link, a group of environmental activists working for environmental justice and freedom from toxins,

COVID-19 will be part of our lives for the time to come, as the World Health Organisation (WHO) is estimating, even with the development of the vaccine. In this scenario, it is obvious that states will open up and as the lockdown rules ease, demand for all kinds of personal protective gears like masks, gloves, goggles, Hazmat suits and others by the individuals is only going to increase. Along with this will grow the need for single-use plastic bags to take to the stores for buying essentials which can be discarded later.

She further added that a surge in the domestic dry waste and hazardous waste generation has been observed in the past 2-3 months. She said,

There is a lack of data on the amount of domestic hazardous waste generation but this gap should be filled soon. This is because considering the plastic pollution crisis we are still battling, and the lessons we are learning from this pandemic about the need to work with nature instead of against it, efforts need to be made in developing plastic-free masks and gloves alternative as soon as possible.

Swati Singh Sambyal, a municipal solid waste expert, based in New Delhi highlighted the need of raising awareness on the safe disposal of PPE (Personal Protective Equipments). She said,

There has been an increase in hazardous waste and dry waste components of domestic waste. People are using single-use disposable masks and gloves in large numbers. While there is a lot of messaging on using masks while stepping out, making masks at home but there is still a lot to be done in building awareness on proper disposal of single use masks so that these don’t end up as litter on streets, in dumpsites or contaminate water bodies. Also, the COVID19 times have demolished the little progresses that cities and states had made on single use plastics and in switching to sustainable options. Usage of single use plastic/packaging items have accelerated and disposable PPEs is the new addition to the single use plastic stream..

Also Read: This World Environment Day And Every Day, Let’s Ensure We All Come Together To Protect Our Nature: Actor Dia Mirza

COVID-19 Pandemic Has Highlighted Gaps In Waste Management In The Country: Experts

According to the Bio-Medical Waste (BMW) Management Rules 2016, medical waste is segregated with five different collection bags to avoid collision with other corporation solid waste. The new regulations framed during the pandemic insist on carrying the garbage in two safe containers to prevent leakage when handling the additional waste. Under the guidelines, The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has made it mandatory to put “COVID-19 Waste” label on all biomedical waste generated during the treatment of the infection. However, these rules are majorly targeting hospitals, isolation wards, quarantine centres and other medical centres. Experts seek norms and better waste management system for the disposal of COVID-19 medical waste at the household level.

Ms. Sambyal highlighted that Solid Waste Management Rules 2016 clearly states that the waste should be segregated into three bins for wet, dry and hazardous waste. However, even before COVID-19 pandemic hit the country, there was no waste segregation happening into the third component, she said. She added,

If at all some cities that practice segregation, it is majorly in two categories- dry and wet waste. The third bin is missing from almost the entire country. So first and foremost, the third bin component needs to be brought into the waste management system in cities. It requires a lot of awareness building. It is important that the masks and gloves used and thrown by the household on a daily basis does not get mixed with domestic dry waste. The waste generated because of COVID-19 includes gloves, masks, medicine wrappers, tissues papers, wipes, cotton swabs, among others. These should be separates, sorted, wrapped up in some newspaper, put in a bag, labelled and then given to the collector.

Also Read: Will Coronavirus Lockdown Delay India’s Commitment To Phase Out Single-use Plastic By 2022?

She further said that there is no clear inventorisation on domestic hazardous waste. As per an estimate, this fraction is almost 1 per cent of the total municipal solid waste collected by the civic body.

Ms. Mahesh asserted that at many places, the medical waste is getting mixed with household dry waste and this poses an extreme threat to sanitation workers as they can get in contact with contaminated medical waste.

According to Shakuntala Shrivastava, a senior official at New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), bio-hazardous waste is being managed efficiently in the area and is being treated at a Common Bio-Medical Waste Treatment (CBMWT) facility. She added,

Bio-hazardous waste generated at homes, hospitals and quarantine centres need to be segregated at source and are being collected separately.

In terms of managing its hazardous waste, Panchgani, a small city in Maharashtra is a model city. Laxmi Karhadakar, President, Panchgani Hill Station Municipal Corporation shared that each household has been asked to segregate and store masks and gloves separately which is collected by the civic body and is sent to a CBMWT in the nearby town Satara. She added that the municipal council has imposed a fine of Rs. 500 on failing to segregate the waste before handing it over to the waste collector.

The United Nations has called on countries to treat waste management as “urgent and essential” to combat Covid-19 and prevent knock-on effects on public health and the environment. India generates about 550.9 tonnes of biomedical waste every day as per the data published in ‘Unearthing the Growth Curve and Necessities of Bio-Medical Waste Management in India, 2018’. Experts assert that post-pandemic, the quantity will increase exponentially.

Also Read: Drowning In Plastic: Visualising The World’s Addiction To Plastic Bottles

Shun Surgical Masks, Take #PlasticUpvaas

Country’s first Plogger Ripu Daman Bevli reminds that single-use plastic has taken over the lives of people and ruining the planet. He said,

Seeping into the groundwater from landfills, or destroying the marine ecosystem, single-use also enters the food chain and comes back to impact our health. All this while polluting the environment. The need to fight is extremely urgent! And it’s not just single-use plastic, but single-use anything which creates waste is bad for us and the environment.

By starting an online movement, #PlasticUpvaas, Mr. Bevli is urging people to mark this World Environment Day by starting giving up single-use plastic items. He says,

Start with just one item, like surgical masks and switch to reusable cloth masks. Gradually move on to shunning single-use plastic bottles, polythene bags, straws, tissue papers or anything similar.

He further added that scientists have estimated that by 2050, there will be more plastic by weight in the oceans than fishes but considering the huge spurt in plastic and single-use consumption in the form of PPEs, masks, gloves, protective body bags, this may happen earlier.

About World Environment Day 2020

Every year on June 5, the world marks a day for nature which is known as the World Environment Day. It was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972 on the first day of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. Two years later, in 1974 the first world environment day was celebrated. The theme for World Environment Day is biodiversity- a call to action to stop the loss of specials and degradation of the natural world, both of which are accelerating.

Also Read: Supreme Court Takes Note Of Plastics Lying On Both Sides Of Railway Lines In Outer Delhi

World

3,22,27,134Cases
90,11,771Active
2,22,32,414Recovered
9,82,949Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 188 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 3,22,27,134 and 9,82,949 have died; 90,11,771 are active cases and 2,22,32,414 have recovered as on September 25, 2020 at 3:43 am.

India

58,18,570 86052Cases
9,70,116 3734Active
47,56,164 81177Recovered
92,290 1141Deaths
In India, there are 58,18,570 confirmed cases including 92,290 deaths. The number of active cases is 9,70,116 and 47,56,164 have recovered as on September 25, 2020 at 2:30 am.

State & District Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
DistrictCases
Akola757
Aurangabad1974
Dhule228
Jalgaon1039
Mumbai45478
Mumbai Suburban5363
Nagpur692
Nashik1575
Palghar1421
Pune9920
Satara629
Solapur1291
Thane13660
Yavatmal150
Ahmednagar190
Amravati291
Beed54
Bhandara41
Buldhana88
Chandrapur32
Hingoli208
Jalna201
Kolhapur646
Latur139
Nanded176
Nandurbar42
Parbhani78
Raigad1462
Ratnagiri350
Sangli145
Gadchiroli42
gondia69
Osmanabad125
Sindhudurg114
Wardha11
Washim13

1282963 19164

275404 1521

973214 17184

34345 459

DistrictCases
Chittoor319
Guntur511
Krishna557
Kurnool795
Sri Potti Sriramulu Nell*296
Anantapur428
East Godavari356
Prakasam104
Srikakulam183
Visakhapatnam103
West Godavari199
Y.S.R.205
Vizianagaram23

654385 7855

69353

579474 8807

5558 52

DistrictCases
Bengaluru Rural40
Bengaluru Urban529
Mysuru107
Bagalkote103
Ballari60
Belagavi337
Bidar219
Chikkaballapura149
Dakshina Kannada179
Dharwad61
Gadag45
Kalaburagi669
Mandya346
Tumakuru36
Uttara Kannada95
Vijayapura201
Chamarajanagara0
Chikkamagaluru19
Chitradurga14
Davangere204
Hassan205
Haveri24
Kodagu4
Kolar29
Koppal5
Raichur369
Ramanagara3
Shivamogga67
Udupi1176
Yadgir538

548557 7710

95568 897

444658 6748

8331 65

DistrictCases
North Goa57
South Goa69

30552 673

5822 176

24347 490

383 7

DistrictCases
Chengalpattu1314
Chennai23324
Kanchipuram503
Madurai322
Namakkal83
Ranipet133
Thanjavur130
Thiruvallur774
Thiruvarur67
Tiruppur116
Vellore71
Virudhunagar185
Ariyalur444
Coimbatore188
Cuddalore477
Dharmapuri15
Dindigul175
Erode75
Kallakurichi324
Kanniyakumari110
Karur88
Nagapattinam99
Perambalur133
Pudukkottai53
Ramanathapuram119
Salem258
Sivaganga46
Tenkasi103
The Nilgiris17
Theni129
Tiruchirappalli119
Tirunelveli433
Tirupathur45
Tiruvannamalai496
Tuticorin333
Villupuram509
Krishnagiri43

563691 5692

46405 156

508210 5470

9076 66

DistrictCases
Kannur357
Kottayam73
Alappuzha76
Idukki40
Kasaragod333
Kollam118
Kozhikode90
Malappuram119
Palakkad224
Pathanamthitta98
Thiruvananthapuram104
Thrissur106
Ernakulam60
Wayanad36

154456 6324

45993 3135

107850 3168

613 21

DistrictCases
Raipur46
Korba100
Balod41
Baloda Bazar85
Balrampur17
Bastar2
Bemetara21
Bijapur2
Bilaspur100
Dantewada0
Dhamtari6
Durg31
Gariyaband10
Janjgir-Champa56
Jashpur77
Kabirdham52
Kanker19
Kondagaon0
Korea39
Mahasamund54
Mungeli87
Narayanpur0
Raigarh47
Rajnandgaon52
Sukma0
Surajpur9
Surguja14

95623 2272

36038 188

58833 2060

752 24

DistrictCases
Hyderabad2475
MedchalMalkajgiri75
Ranga Reddy183
Suryapet87
Vikarabad40
Warangal Urban32
Adilabad22
Jagitial77
Jangoan8
Jayashankar Bhupalapally9
Jogulamba Gadwal40
Kamareddy11
Karimnagar17
Khammam26
Kumuram Bheem Asifabad8
Mahabubnagar30
Mancherial43
Medak11
Nalgonda33
Narayanpet3
Nirmal21
Nizamabad76
RajannaSircilla16
Sangareddy26
Bhadradri Kothagudem5
Mahabubabad10
Mulugu3
Nagarkurnool8
Peddapalli5
Siddipet7
Wanaparthy1
Warangal Rural4
YadadriBhuvanagiri40

181627 2381

30387 350

150160 2021

1080 10

DistrictCases
Baleshwar190
Bhadrak137
Jajapur322
Dhenkanal36
Kalahandi33
Kendrapara164
Khordha238
Koraput16
Sundargarh102
Anugul26
Balangir129
Bargarh16
Boudh34
Cuttack155
Deogarh33
Gajapati61
Ganjam581
Jagatsinghapur91
Jharsuguda8
Kandhamal28
Kendujhar34
Malkangiri20
Mayurbhanj73
Nabarangpur2
Nayagarh86
Nuapada69
Puri103
Rayagada2
Sambalpur16
Sonepur29

196888 4340

35092 545

161044 3779

752 16

DistrictCases
Barwani60
Bhopal1880
Dewas140
Dhar132
East Nimar266
Gwalior211
Indore3839
Jabalpur276
Ujjain799
Agar Malwa15
Alirajpur3
Betul35
Burhanpur351
Chhindwara16
Dindori29
Harda4
Hoshangabad37
Khargone196
Mandsaur112
Morena109
Raisen71
Ratlam51
Sagar228
Shajapur39
Shandol14
Sheopur26
Tikamgarh18
Vidisha37
Anuppur22
Ashoknagar13
Balaghat9
Bhind87
Chhatarpur35
Damoh26
Datia12
Guna8
Jhabua14
Katni3
Mandla15
Narsinghpur17
Neemuch319
Niwari0
Panna20
Rajgarh31
Rewa39
Satna24
Sehore12
Seoni2
Shivpuri15
Sidhi17
Singrauli13
Umaria10

115361 2304

22744

90495 2327

2122 45

DistrictCases
Ahmadabad17125
Anand107
Arvalli134
Banas Kantha147
Bhavnagar146
Gandhinagar410
PanchMahals107
Surat2311
Vadodara1555
Bharuch56
Botad55
Chhotaudepur37
Dang5
Dohad43
GirSomnath45
Jamnagar63
Kachchh99
Kheda98
Mahesana159
Mahisagar125
Narmada25
Naysari35
Patan105
Rajkot135
SabarKantha101
Surendranagar55
Tapi6
Valsad47
Amreli16
DevbhumiDwarka22
Junagadh31
Morbi4
Porbandar11

128787 1408

16327

109079 1505

3381 14

DistrictCases
Ajmer379
Banswara91
Bharatpur563
Jaipur2177
Jhalawar329
Jodhpur1748
Kota503
Nagaur500
Alwar90
Barmer34
Bhilwara250
Bikaner112
Chittorgarh188
Churu81
Dausa61
Dholpur60
Dungarpur374
Hanumangarh31
Jaisalmer53
Jhunjhunu64
Karauli17
Pali352
Rajsamand140
SawaiMadhopur26
Sikar231
Tonk171
Udaipur724
Baran59
Bundi5
Ganganagar8
Jalore164
Pratapgarh14
Sirohi130

122720 1981

18993 1

102330 1965

1397 15

DistrictCases
Faridabad867
Sonipat404
Ambala93
Bhiwani60
CharkiDadri43
Fatehabad38
Gurugram2950
Hisar98
Jhajjar114
Jind38
Kaithal48
Karnal104
Kurukshetra55
Nuh68
Palwal120
Panchkula39
Panipat78
Rohtak145
Sirsa50
Yamunanagar19
Mahendragarh47
Rewari56

118554 1698

18889

98410 2063

1255 22

DistrictCases
Agra933
Aligarh215
Amroha80
Bareilly17
Bijnor157
Bulandshahr166
Firozabad190
Gautam Buddha Nagar1119
Kanpur Nagar286
Lucknow386
Mathura129
Meerut504
Moradabad252
Muzaffarnagar117
Rae Bareli78
Rampur203
Saharanpur298
Sant Kabeer Nagar132
Varanasi243
Auraiya37
Ayodhya120
Azamgarh138
Baghpat68
Bahraich73
Balrampur49
Banda27
Basti214
Bhadohi60
Budaun23
Etah52
Etawah46
Ghaziabad794
Ghazipur159
Gonda59
Gorakhpur166
Hapur225
Hardoi49
Jalaun41
Jaunpur194
Jhansi41
Kannauj69
Kasganj16
Kaushambi6
Mainpuri46
Mau48
Mirzapur22
Pilibhit15
Pratapgarh15
Prayagraj30
Sambhal116
Shamli40
Shravasti23
Sitapur32
Sultanpur97
Unnao42
Ambedkar Nagar92
Amethi206
Ballia60
Barabanki168
Chandauli38
Chitrakoot4
Deoria143
Farrukhabad36
Fatehpur3
Hamirpur3
Hathras43
Kanpur Dehat4
Kheri72
Kushi Nagar67
Lalitpur3
Maharajganj85
Mahoba3
Shahjahanpur25
Siddharth Nagar159
Sonbhadra10

374277 4591

61300

307611 4922

5366 67

DistrictCases
Central4817
East2472
New Delhi3405
North3059
North East1914
North West5463
Shahdara1580
South2329
South East2446
South West2391
West4768

260623 3834

31125 289

224375 3509

5123 36

DistrictCases
Dhubri30
Goalpara19
Marigaon50
Baksa14
Barpeta28
Biswanath16
Bongaigaon12
Cachar80
Charaideo29
Chirang6
Darrang20
Dhemaji47
Dibrugarh61
Dima Hasao86
Golaghat203
Hailakandi57
Hojai89
Jorhat24
Kamrup42
Kamrup Metro276
KarbiAnglong13
Karimganj85
Kokrajhar37
Lakhimpur57
Majuli2
Nagaon143
Nalbari23
Sivasagar20
Sonitpur27
South SalmaraMancachar4
Tinsukia84
Udalguri28
West KarbiAnglong5

165582 2091

29830

135144 2432

608 11

DistrictCases
East District3
North District0
South District3
West District0

2692 64

607 32

2054 31

31 1

DistrictCases
Buxar134
Gaya115
Munger188
Patna279
Rohtas256
Arwal52
Aurangabad75
Banka134
Begusarai243
Bhagalpur266
Bhojpur103
Darbhanga143
Gopalganj123
Jehanabad178
Kaimur (bhabua)105
Lakhisarai72
Madhepura82
Madhubani199
Nalanda123
Nawada122
PurbiChamparan138
Purnia135
Saran101
Siwan139
Vaishali87
Araria68
Jamui47
Katihar175
Khagaria253
Kishanganj75
Muzaffarpur96
Pashchim Champaran57
Saharsa88
Samastipur139
Sheikhpura118
Sheohar20
Sitamarhi73
Supaul87

174071 1217

13015 57

160178 1156

878 4

DistrictCases
24 Paraganas North1031
24 Paraganas South281
Darjeeling97
Howrah1435
Jalpaiguri88
Kalimpong18
Kolkata2777
Maldah235
Medinipur East153
Medinipur West159
Hooghly604
Murshidabad125
Nadia139
Paschim Bardhaman70
Purba Bardhaman130
Alipurduar39
Bankura116
Birbhum206
Coochbehar210
Dinajpur Dakshin50
Dinajpur Uttar216
Jhargram9
Purulia66

237869 3196

25221 120

208042 3014

4606 62

DistrictCases
South Andamans33
Nicobars1
North And Middle Andaman1

3744 32

189 23

3503 9

52

DistrictCases
Pondicherry111
Karaikal2
Mahe4
Yanam0

24895 668

5097 244

19311 418

487 6

DistrictCases
Anjaw0
Changlang31
Dibang Valley0
East Kameng0
East Siang1
Kamle0
KraDaadi0
KurungKumey0
Leparada0
Lohit3
Longding0
Lower Dibang Valley0
Lower Siang0
Lower Subansiri0
Namsai2
PakkeKessang1
Papum Pare8
Shi Yomi0
Siang0
Tawang1
Tirap0
Upper Siang1
Upper Subansiri0
West Kameng0
West Siang1

8416 283

2331 115

6071 168

14

DistrictCases
Dimapur20
Kiphire3
Kohima7
Longleng0
Mokokchung0
Mon8
Peren2
Phek1
Tuensang3
Wokha0
Zunheboto0

5730 59

1088

4626 90

16

DistrictCases
Dadra And Nagar Haveli20

2977 15

190

2785 30

2

DistrictCases
Ranchi148
Bokaro16
Deoghar5
Dhanbad32
Garhwa80
Giridih19
Hazaribagh110
Jamtara2
Koderma58
Simdega48
Chatra1
Dumka5
East Singhbum170
Godda2
Gumla28
Khunti10
Latehar14
Lohardaga8
Pakur4
Palamu27
Ramgarh75
Sahebganj0
SaraikelaKharsawan20
West Singhbhum21

76438 1349

12841

62945 1386

652 4

DistrictCases
Gomati74
North Tripura14
Dhalai196
Khowai24
Sepahijala174
South Tripura53
Unakoti49
West Tripura45

24130 341

6378

17487 509

265 5

DistrictCases
Kargil77
LehLadakh43

3969 36

1022

2893 49

54 3

DistrictCases
Anantnag395
Bandipora175
Shopian255
Srinagar300
Baramulla271
Budgam110
Ganderbal37
Jammu138
Kathua53
Kulgam295
Kupwara231
Rajouri39
Ramban151
Reasi26
Samba25
Udhampur155
Mirpur0
Muzaffarabad0
Doda27
Kishtwar10
Poonch35
Pulwama108

68614 1104

19451

48079 1549

1084 22

DistrictCases
Chamba29
Hamirpur117
Kangra105
Sirmaur11
Solan32
Una41
Bilaspur21
Kinnaur2
Kullu4
Lahaul And Spiti0
Mandi21
Shimla10

13386 337

3984 34

9252 293

150 10

DistrictCases
Jalandhar297
Ludhiana293
Patiala132
Amritsar485
Barnala25
Faridkot74
Firozepur50
Gurdaspur154
Hoshiarpur140
Kapurthala44
Mansa31
Moga65
Pathankot86
S.A.S Nagar137
Sangrur107
Shahid Bhagat Singh Nagar (Nawanshahr)99
Sri Muktsar Sahib71
Tarn Taran163
Bathinda60
Fatehgarh Sahib57
Fazilka53
Rupnagar (Ropar)74

105220 1756

20679

81475 2231

3066 76

DistrictCases
Haridwar94
Dehradun370
Nainital323
Almora71
Bageshwar31
Chamoli36
Champawat45
PauriGarhwal36
Pithoragarh43
Rudraprayag30
Tehri Garhwal110
Udam Singh Nagar83
Uttar Kashi24

44404 684

11507

32355 1031

542 13

DistrictCases
Bishnupur7
Chandel5
Churachandpur32
Imphal East10
Imphal West21
Jiribam3
Kakching2
Kamjong5
Kangpokpi26
Noney1
Pherzawl3
Senapati6
Tamenglong2
Tengnoupal9
Thoubal18
Ukhrul4

9537 161

2106

7369 261

62

DistrictCases
Chandigarh313

10968 242

2482

8342 293

144 4

DistrictCases
East Khasi Hills22
East Garo Hills0
East Jaintia Hills0
North Garo Hills1
Ribhoi0
South Garo Hills0
South West Garo Hills4
South West Khasi Hills0
West Garo Hills5
West Jaintia Hills1
West Khasi Hills1

5078 117

1977

3058 199

43 1

DistrictCases
Aizawl10
Champhai0
Hnahthial0
Khawzawl0
Kolasib11
Lawngtlai2
Lunglei2
Mamit8
Saiha0
Saitual1
Serchhip0

1786 73

681 63

1105 10

0

DistrictCases
Lakshadweep District0

0

0

0

0

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