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

6,22,00,148Cases
2,09,49,646Active
3,97,99,428Recovered
14,51,074Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 191 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 6,22,00,148 and 14,51,074 have died; 2,09,49,646 are active cases and 3,97,99,428 have recovered as on November 29, 2020 at 3:51 am.

India

93,92,919 41810Cases
4,53,956 -984Active
88,02,267 42298Recovered
1,36,696 496Deaths
In India, there are 93,92,919 confirmed cases including 1,36,696 deaths. The number of active cases is 4,53,956 and 88,02,267 have recovered as on November 29, 2020 at 2:30 am.

State & District Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
DistrictCases
Mumbai45,478
Thane13,660
Pune9,920
Mumbai Suburban5,363
Aurangabad1,974
Nashik1,575
Raigad1,462
Palghar1,421
Solapur1,291
Jalgaon1,039
Akola757
Nagpur692
Kolhapur646
Satara629
Ratnagiri350
Amravati291
Dhule228
Hingoli208
Jalna201
Ahmednagar190
Nanded176
Yavatmal150
Sangli145
Latur139
Osmanabad125
Sindhudurg114
Buldhana88
Parbhani78
gondia69
Beed54
Nandurbar42
Gadchiroli42
Bhandara41
Chandrapur32
Washim13
Wardha11

18,14,515 5,965

90,965 1,940

16,76,564 3,937

46,986 88

DistrictCases
Udupi1,176
Kalaburagi669
Yadgir538
Bengaluru Urban529
Raichur369
Mandya346
Belagavi337
Bidar219
Hassan205
Davangere204
Vijayapura201
Dakshina Kannada179
Chikkaballapura149
Mysuru107
Bagalkote103
Uttara Kannada95
Shivamogga67
Dharwad61
Ballari60
Gadag45
Bengaluru Rural40
Tumakuru36
Kolar29
Haveri24
Chikkamagaluru19
Chitradurga14
Koppal5
Kodagu4
Ramanagara3
Chamarajanagara0

8,82,608 1,522

24,776 622

8,46,082 2,132

11,750 12

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

8,67,063 625

11,571 566

8,48,511 1,186

6,981 5

DistrictCases
Chennai23,324
Chengalpattu1,314
Thiruvallur774
Villupuram509
Kanchipuram503
Tiruvannamalai496
Cuddalore477
Ariyalur444
Tirunelveli433
Tuticorin333
Kallakurichi324
Madurai322
Salem258
Coimbatore188
Virudhunagar185
Dindigul175
Perambalur133
Ranipet133
Thanjavur130
Theni129
Tiruchirappalli119
Ramanathapuram119
Tiruppur116
Kanniyakumari110
Tenkasi103
Nagapattinam99
Karur88
Namakkal83
Erode75
Vellore71
Thiruvarur67
Pudukkottai53
Sivaganga46
Tirupathur45
Krishnagiri43
The Nilgiris17
Dharmapuri15

7,79,046 1,430

11,073 36

7,56,279 1,453

11,694 13

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

5,93,957 6,250

64,964 950

5,26,797 5,275

2,196 25

DistrictCases
North West5,463
Central4,817
West4,768
New Delhi3,405
North3,059
East2,472
South East2,446
South West2,391
South2,329
North East1,914
Shahdara1,580

5,61,742 4,998

36,578 1,603

5,16,166 6,512

8,998 89

DistrictCases
Gautam Buddha Nagar1,119
Agra933
Ghaziabad794
Meerut504
Lucknow386
Saharanpur298
Kanpur Nagar286
Moradabad252
Varanasi243
Hapur225
Aligarh215
Basti214
Amethi206
Rampur203
Jaunpur194
Firozabad190
Barabanki168
Gorakhpur166
Bulandshahr166
Siddharth Nagar159
Ghazipur159
Bijnor157
Deoria143
Azamgarh138
Sant Kabeer Nagar132
Mathura129
Ayodhya120
Muzaffarnagar117
Sambhal116
Sultanpur97
Ambedkar Nagar92
Maharajganj85
Amroha80
Rae Bareli78
Bahraich73
Kheri72
Kannauj69
Baghpat68
Kushi Nagar67
Bhadohi60
Ballia60
Gonda59
Etah52
Hardoi49
Balrampur49
Mau48
Mainpuri46
Etawah46
Hathras43
Unnao42
Jalaun41
Jhansi41
Shamli40
Chandauli38
Auraiya37
Farrukhabad36
Sitapur32
Prayagraj30
Banda27
Shahjahanpur25
Shravasti23
Budaun23
Mirzapur22
Bareilly17
Kasganj16
Pratapgarh15
Pilibhit15
Sonbhadra10
Kaushambi6
Kanpur Dehat4
Chitrakoot4
Lalitpur3
Hamirpur3
Mahoba3
Fatehpur3

5,39,899 2,152

25,243 396

5,06,938 2,527

7,718 21

DistrictCases
Kolkata2,777
Howrah1,435
24 Paraganas North1,031
Hooghly604
24 Paraganas South281
Maldah235
Dinajpur Uttar216
Coochbehar210
Birbhum206
Medinipur West159
Medinipur East153
Nadia139
Purba Bardhaman130
Murshidabad125
Bankura116
Darjeeling97
Jalpaiguri88
Paschim Bardhaman70
Purulia66
Dinajpur Dakshin50
Alipurduar39
Kalimpong18
Jhargram9

4,77,446 3,459

24,537 80

4,44,587 3,487

8,322 52

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

3,17,789 550

5,510 264

3,10,549 802

1,730 12

DistrictCases
Hyderabad2,475
Ranga Reddy183
Suryapet87
Jagitial77
Nizamabad76
MedchalMalkajgiri75
Mancherial43
YadadriBhuvanagiri40
Jogulamba Gadwal40
Vikarabad40
Nalgonda33
Warangal Urban32
Mahabubnagar30
Sangareddy26
Khammam26
Adilabad22
Nirmal21
Karimnagar17
RajannaSircilla16
Medak11
Kamareddy11
Mahabubabad10
Jayashankar Bhupalapally9
Nagarkurnool8
Kumuram Bheem Asifabad8
Jangoan8
Siddipet7
Peddapalli5
Bhadradri Kothagudem5
Warangal Rural4
Mulugu3
Narayanpet3
Wanaparthy1

2,69,223 805

10,490 147

2,57,278 948

1,455 4

DistrictCases
Jaipur2,177
Jodhpur1,748
Udaipur724
Bharatpur563
Kota503
Nagaur500
Ajmer379
Dungarpur374
Pali352
Jhalawar329
Bhilwara250
Sikar231
Chittorgarh188
Tonk171
Jalore164
Rajsamand140
Sirohi130
Bikaner112
Banswara91
Alwar90
Churu81
Jhunjhunu64
Dausa61
Dholpur60
Baran59
Jaisalmer53
Barmer34
Hanumangarh31
SawaiMadhopur26
Karauli17
Pratapgarh14
Ganganagar8
Bundi5

2,62,805 2,765

28,751 568

2,31,780 2,178

2,274 19

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

2,34,725 1,890

20,978 861

2,10,917 2,734

2,830 17

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

2,33,572 656

5,380 21

2,26,939 672

1,253 5

DistrictCases
Gurugram2,950
Faridabad867
Sonipat404
Rohtak145
Palwal120
Jhajjar114
Karnal104
Hisar98
Ambala93
Panipat78
Nuh68
Bhiwani60
Rewari56
Kurukshetra55
Sirsa50
Kaithal48
Mahendragarh47
CharkiDadri43
Panchkula39
Fatehabad38
Jind38
Yamunanagar19

2,30,713 1,967

19,916 484

2,08,422 2,421

2,375 30

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

2,12,483 163

3,313 41

2,08,190 122

980

DistrictCases
Ahmadabad17,125
Surat2,311
Vadodara1,555
Gandhinagar410
Mahesana159
Banas Kantha147
Bhavnagar146
Rajkot135
Arvalli134
Mahisagar125
Anand107
PanchMahals107
Patan105
SabarKantha101
Kachchh99
Kheda98
Jamnagar63
Bharuch56
Botad55
Surendranagar55
Valsad47
GirSomnath45
Dohad43
Chhotaudepur37
Naysari35
Junagadh31
Narmada25
DevbhumiDwarka22
Amreli16
Porbandar11
Tapi6
Dang5
Morbi4

2,06,714 1,598

14,792 60

1,87,969 1,523

3,953 15

DistrictCases
Indore3,839
Bhopal1,880
Ujjain799
Burhanpur351
Neemuch319
Jabalpur276
East Nimar266
Sagar228
Gwalior211
Khargone196
Dewas140
Dhar132
Mandsaur112
Morena109
Bhind87
Raisen71
Barwani60
Ratlam51
Rewa39
Shajapur39
Hoshangabad37
Vidisha37
Chhatarpur35
Betul35
Rajgarh31
Dindori29
Sheopur26
Damoh26
Satna24
Anuppur22
Panna20
Tikamgarh18
Sidhi17
Narsinghpur17
Chhindwara16
Agar Malwa15
Mandla15
Shivpuri15
Jhabua14
Shandol14
Singrauli13
Ashoknagar13
Datia12
Sehore12
Umaria10
Balaghat9
Guna8
Harda4
Alirajpur3
Katni3
Seoni2
Niwari0

2,03,231 1,634

14,981 304

1,85,013 1,317

3,237 13

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

1,50,805 719

7,834 115

1,38,206 576

4,765 28

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

1,09,383 512

5,112 124

1,02,591 632

1,680 4

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

1,08,786 209

2,154 8

1,05,669 216

963 1

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

73,951 424

4,876 64

67,861 347

1,214 13

DistrictCases
South Goa69
North Goa57

47,689 198

1,348 35

45,655 163

686

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

38,977 650

8,574 369

29,780 270

623 11

DistrictCases
Pondicherry111
Mahe4
Karaikal2
Yanam0

36,902 46

519 5

35,774 41

609

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

32,674 33

649 54

31,655 87

370

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

24,749 235

3,283 31

21,203 197

263 7

DistrictCases
Chandigarh313

17,246 89

1,115 75

15,857 160

274 4

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

16,262 31

888 23

15,323 53

51 1

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

11,704 71

858 59

10,735 129

111 1

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

11,115 24

1,221 1

9,830 25

64

DistrictCases
Kargil77
LehLadakh43

8,328 56

885 19

7,327 73

116 2

DistrictCases
East District3
South District3
North District0
West District0

4,967 59

288 24

4,572 31

107 4

DistrictCases
South Andamans33
Nicobars1
North And Middle Andaman1

4,698 9

119 1

4,518 10

61

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

3,822 16

392 42

3,425 58

5

DistrictCases
Dadra And Nagar Haveli20

3,330

23 4

3,305 4

2

DistrictCases
Lakshadweep District0

0

0 0

0

0

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