Over the course of this project, India witnessed a massive surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country. The use of chemicals such as sanitizers, disinfectants, hand washes, soaps, etc. has increased during the pandemic to mitigate the effects of the virus. Additionally, during the pandemic, products such as masks, sanitizers, hand gloves, shields, etc. have contributed to increasing household waste, as well as plastic waste.
The COVID-19 pandemic has already had negative effects on waste management, significantly contributing to increases in medical waste and household waste, and a substantial slowdown in recycling efforts. This upsurge in hazardous waste particularly endangers developing countries that are destinations for waste exports via the global waste trade.
While governments of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have individually taken action to address incidents of illegal waste shipments from affluent and more developed countries, the 10-member bloc has yet to unify and boost up efforts to protect the region from the drawbacks and hazards of the global waste trade.
Published by the environmental health and justice group EcoWaste Coalition with the International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN), the report finds the current legal and policy responses inadequate to stop the entry of illegal waste, and more importantly, insufficient to protect the health of both people and the environment.
Jeunes Volontaires pour l’Environnement has identified 14 facilities in Cameroon that currently handle plastic waste and have the potential to impact human health, especially waste workers, and Cameroon's sensitive environment. This national report seeks to provide information and support to consumers, manufacturers, distributers, regulatory authorities and the media about the inherent risks, hazards and associated impacts of plastic waste.
As with many countries around the world, during the COVID-19 lockdown periods in Bangladesh, there was an increase in hazardous medical waste production. The increase in waste volume pressured the waste management infrastructures, which have proven insufficient to accommodate the unexpected increase. Furthermore,resurgence of single use plastic posed a serious threat for health and the environment. In the suburban areas, personal protection equipment (PPE), caps, and gloves were discarded into household bins, putting waste collectors' health and life at risk.
In January 2020, a ban on single-use plastics came into force in the territory of Morelos, Mexico, leaving 90 days for the development of the regulations of the Morelos Waste Law. This Law would establish the rules to materialize said ban, which, among other things, also established the obligation for commercial establishments to submit a single-use plastics substitution program to the environmental authority.
Gothenburg, Sweden Major investments in chemical recycling, plastic-to-fuel, and incineration to manage plastic waste is generating high volumes of highly hazardous waste and toxic emissions, according to a new report released today.
The report Plastic Waste Management Hazards is the first study providing a detailed account of how current investments in recycling schemes, both mechanical and chemical, will have very little impact on a growing, worldwide plastic pollution problem and will increase exposure to toxic chemicals in the communities where they are located.
Report co-author and IPEN POPs Policy Advisor, Lee Bell said, “No current management method for plastic waste is capable of alleviating the world’s expanding plastic pollution crisis. All methods generate significant toxic hazards because of the toxic additives that are a component of most plastic products. Industry’s championing of various recycling schemes is a marketing ploy designed to fend off plastic regulation and efforts to curb an escalating plastic pollution problem. The only solution to the plastic waste piling up in our communities and oceans is to limit plastic production to essential uses and eliminate the use of toxic chemicals in plastics.”
Plastic waste has become an unprecedented pollution issue around the globe. From visible plastic litter on land and in oceans to invisible microplastics in lakes, mountains, and rain, the planet is increasingly blanketed in the petrochemical remnants of plastic production. With petrochemical companies avoiding fossil fuel carbon liabilities by massively increasing plastic production, the amount of plastic waste generated is set to climb dramatically.