India generated 45,038 tonnes of COVID-19 biomedical waste between June 2020 and May 10, 2021, ie 132 tonnes of COVID-19 related waste was generated every day.
The deep impact of the epidemic on the campaign against plastic
The crisis of plastic and biomedical waste is deepening with every case of COVID. When millions of people are throwing away using face shields, surgical masks, gloves and PPE suits which were once mainly used in hospitals but have now become an integral part of everyone’s life. Ahead of World Environment Day on Saturday, concerned experts said the movement against plastic has suffered a major setback in this global pandemic where reliance on single-use plastics is increasing and households are generating tonnes of biomedical waste. .
The rubbish of the global pandemic is everywhere – PPE suits being dumped behind hospitals and crematoriums, surgical masks and shields being dumped as household waste and of course sanitizer bottles, gloves and the like. Things are seen in the garbage dumping places in the corners of the streets.
132 tonnes of garbage generated related to COVID-19
With the poor disposal of waste systems in India and the increasing use of plastics on a large scale every day, concerns about the harmful effects and safety of plastic waste on the planet are also increasing day by day. Ravi Aggarwal, founder director of environmental NGO ‘Toxic Links’, told PTI, “There has been a normal increase and since this is a crisis situation, we are not thinking about plastic but general prevention. Huh. Now the attention is not being given to plastic, so it is a problem.”
He said, “A lot of biomedical waste like masks and PPE kits is now being generated even in ordinary homes. So this is a big problem. These things are entering the ecosystem. Many things like masks are seen in beaches, coral reefs etc. According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), India generated 45,038 tonnes of COVID-19 biomedical waste between June 2020 and May 10, 2021, ie 132 tonnes of COVID-19 related waste was generated every day.
Garbage divided into four parts
This is in addition to the 615 tonnes of biomedical waste generated every day before COVID-19. This means that the global pandemic alone resulted in a 17 percent increase in biomedical waste generation. In addition to covid waste from homes and hospitals with infected patients, there is also waste from non-Covid homes ‘due to the aggravation of the global pandemic’ which includes not only protective equipment but also plastic packets where more and more people are needed. And are using home delivery for non-essential purchases.
Under the existing waste disposal regulations, biomedical waste is divided into four categories – yellow (highly infectious waste such as human, animal, physical), red (contaminated recyclable waste generated from disposable objects such as tubes, bottle tubes, syringes) , white (pointed waste such as needles, needle syringes) and blue (broken or discarded medicine and contaminated glass bottles, etc.).
waste disposal plant
All COVID waste deemed to be infectious is classified as yellow waste and is incinerated. Given this, India seems well-equipped to deal with the additional burden of this biomedical waste as it has a There is a national capacity to burn 800 tonnes of garbage a day. But experts say that other things also have to be kept in mind. Siddharth Singh, Program Deputy Manager at the Center for Science and Environment (CSE), said, “Like the fact that due to the health crisis, non-Covid biomedical waste has also increased.
Second, these waste incineration plants are made for segregated waste. But Covid waste is not segregated, this process affects the efficiency of these plants.” Whether these plants are causing emissions and pollution is not yet clear as monitoring systems in most plants are either not working or have flaws.
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