Masks have become an integral part of your life in the third decade of the 21st century. Then there are other accessories like latex gloves, face shields, PPE kits, empty sanitiser sachets, and many other items. At the start of the pandemic, there was a shortage of this stuff. As a result, many companies used the production lines to create surplus amounts of this protective equipment. Even companies like Asian Paints started their brand of sanitiser. All this stuff has one thing in common apart from the fact that it will keep you safe from Covid-19. It is the building material of this stuff. This stuff is made from family if plastic. We have spent a good part of last decade eradicating plastic use, spread awareness about the long-term harm caused by overuse of plastic, only to give it up in the previous year and manufacture tons of plastic stuff that is carelessly discarded every and anywhere. This has reversed the progress of plastic-free earth. And it will take ages for this plastic to final cease effect. Many used masks and PPE kits have found their way in the oceans, in the forest and every nook and corner.
Adyel, an engineer at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia studying the impact of tiny pieces of plastic called microplastics on the environment, says, "Everyone has to focus first on how to survive, of course. And PPE can save us. People are using this to protect themselves. And it's a great achievement. But we can see a problem in the environment — and it will last for years."
While it is true that all these items are strictly necessary, we should look up for more eco-friendly alternatives. Meanwhile, we have to keep a check on how we are discarding our used stuff.