The global outbreak of the coronavirus has affected many of us and our lifestyle but along with that in the physical world, there is something else that has been adversely affected due to the pandemic. Although the measures have been taken to control the spread of the virus and to bring the economic development of the country back on track there are still many things that are destroyed due to the pandemic and one of them is our environment. There have been several impacts on environmental balance in the world due to the covid-19 pandemic and also due to the situation, there have been some plus points too. Like as many people stayed home, the means of transportation used by the public in the country has decreased, which has led to improving air quality. There is now less air and noise pollution and tourist destinations have also been maintained and cleaned due to low visitors. But apart from the cleanliness in our environment, there are also other factors that have to be considered.
High generation of hospital waste:
Although we are maintaining social distance, the waste produced and the disposal of the waste is still high. Apart from the waste generated at our houses in the past few months hospital waste and haphazard disposal have also been increasing. The huge amount of hospital waste including face masks, hand gloves injections, and medicines is not being disposed of properly which leads to a negative impact on our environment. For testing the covid-19 patients and for treating them a lot of biomedical waste gets generated every single day from the hospitals. For example, during the outbreak of the coronavirus in Ahmedabad around 550 to 600 kg per day of medical waste was generated. The huge hazardous waste generation made it really hard for the waste management authority to handle it and thus it adversely affected the environment globally. Also nowadays the production of face masks, hand gloves, sanitizers, and other safety equipment is very high which again produces greater health care waste. As per the current reports China has been producing around 14.8 million medical masks since February 2020. This is highly infectious waste and dumping them in open places can create environmental pollution, clog waterways, and much more.
The use of plastic based equipment also increases the risk of environmental pollution and getting this waste mixed with our surroundings will make the public more infected with the viruses.
Other things affecting the environment:
From the past few months E-Commerce is a highly used way to shop online and with that the home delivery has also increased. This leads to an increase in the amount of household waste and the packing materials that are getting disposed of. Many countries have also postponed waste recycling activities due to the pandemic and this also had a negative impact on the environment. Waste management activities are held to stop the spread of viruses. Other things like extensive use of disinfectants in common places to avoid viruses have harmed many aquatic bodies and few species in the past few months.