The coronavirus pandemic has led to a sharp increase in environmental pollution from disposable products such as plastic face masks and hand sanitizer bottles. This is stated in a message distributed on Monday by the UN Conference on trade and development (UNCTAD).
According to experts, as a result of the adoption of restrictive measures in connection with the pandemic, greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced by up to 5%, but вЂњnot all measures aimed at countering the coronavirus have had a positive effect on the environment.вЂќ
вЂњOur streets, beaches, and oceans have been subjected to a veritable tsunami of waste, including protective masks, gloves, hand sanitizer bottles, and food packaging,вЂќ they said.
вЂќ Plastic pollution was already a major threat to our planet before the coronavirus outbreak, " said Pamela coke вЂ” Hamilton, Director of the international trade Department at UNCTAD. According to her, вЂњa sudden surge in daily consumption of products designed to ensure the safety of people and stop the disease has significantly worsened the situation.вЂќ
For example, global sales of disposable masks soared from about $ 800 million in 2019 to $ 166 billion in 2020. вЂњBut this is only part of the problem. As a result of social distancing, the daily number of home deliveries of food wrapped in numerous packaging materials has increased dramatically. As a result, the volume of plastic waste has increased many times,вЂќ the UNCTAD report says.
We add that according to the UN, about 25% of the population of Arab countries is threatened with poverty due to the pandemic.