The coronavirus pandemic has led to a significant increase in the amount of plastic waste worldwide, the DPA reported.
An estimated 8,4 million tonnes of plastic waste in 193 countries were generated during the pandemic by August, according to experts from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in the Proceedings of the US National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
For comparison, according to the UN Environment Program – UNEP, people produce about 300 million tons of plastic waste per year.
A team of scientists estimates that most of the plastic waste produced during the coronavirus pandemic comes from hospitals, about 87,4 percent, especially in Asian countries.
Masks and other protective equipment for personal use make up 7,6 percent of waste, according to a study published Monday.
Additional waste includes packaging in which orders placed online are delivered, with 4,7 percent.
“Plastic waste is harming marine life and has become a major environmental problem,” scientists wrote.
They added that the Covid-19 pandemic had led to increased demand for disposable plastics, which they said “increased pressure on the global plastic problem, which is already out of control”.
So far, 25.000 tons of plastic created by the pandemic have entered the oceans.
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