Coronavirus plastic waste polluting the environment

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Single-use masks, gloves, and bottles of sanitizer shielding us from the spread of COVID-19 are ending up on the streets, in the seas and among wildlife. Over a month into the lockdown and the usually bustling streets of Kalamata, a Greek city southwest of Athens traditionally known for its olives, are largely empty. As in the rest of Greece, residents of the coastal city are allowed out only in strict circumstances, including for short exercise and grocery shopping, but discarded gloves, wipes and bottles of sanitizer are strewn across parks, sidewalks and roads, as people try to protect themselves and others from infection. The problem isn’t confined to the small Greek city. Similar waste is causing problems in bigger metropolises such as New York and London.

And it has even hit the uninhabited Soko Islands. A few nautical miles from Hong Kong, Gary Stokes from the conservation group OceansAsia, found some 100 masks washed up over the course of three visits to the beach. “We hadn’t noticed this many masks before in such a remote location,” said Stokes, who suspects they came from nearby China or Hong Kong. “When we found them, it only had been six to eight weeks since people had started using these masks.” (Source : Indian Express)

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