Over 25K tonnes of pandemic-related plastic polluting the ocean, posing threat to marine wildlife: Study

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Nov 09, 2021, 11:50 AM(IST)

Plastic pollution Photograph:( Twitter )

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The researchers have highlighted that most of the plastic largely accumulated from medical waste coming from hospitals

A recent study has revealed that over 25,000 tonnes of pandemic-related plastic waste has been leaked into the ocean while 8 million tons of plastic waste has been created globally, adding to an already out of control global problem. 

The researchers have highlighted that most of the plastic largely accumulated from medical waste coming from hospitals.

The study titled "Plastic waste release caused by COVID-19 and its fate in the global ocean" has estimated that 8.4m tons of plastic waste has been generated from 193 countries. 

"The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increased demand for single-use plastics that intensifies pressure on an already out-of-control global plastic waste problem. While it is suspected to be large, the magnitude and fate of this pandemic-associated mismanaged plastic waste are unknown," the study said. 

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The researchers have warned that the released plastic can be transported over long distances in the ocean, come in contact with marine wildlife. This can lead to an injury or even death.

They have called for "better medical waste management in pandemic epicenters, especially in developing countries."
Yiming Peng and Peipei Wu from Nanjing University was quoted by The Guardian as saying, "The Covid-19 pandemic has led to an increased demand for single-use plastics that intensifies pressure on an already out-of-control global plastic waste problem."

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“The released plastics can be transported over long distances in the ocean, encounter marine wildlife, and potentially lead to injury or even death."

The study also revealed that 46 per cent of the mismanaged plastic waste came from Asia. This was due to the high level of mask-wearing by individuals. Then came Europe ay 24 per cent and North and South America at 22 per cent.

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