Quarantine imposed in various countries in connection with COVID-19, led to a sharp reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 5%, but used masks, protective gloves and bottles of disinfectant reinforced plastic pollution of the environment, says the report released Monday by the United Nations conference on trade and development (UNCTAD).
"plastic Pollution was one of the biggest threats to this planet before the outbreak of the coronavirus. The sudden boom in daily use certain products to ensure the safety of people and fight the disease considerably worsens the situation", – said the Director of the international trade UNCTAD Pamela Kok-Hamilton.
According to the consulting company Grand View Research, global sales of only disposable masks for the face increased from $ 800 million in 2019 to $ 166 billion in 2020. Social distancing has also led to an increase in deliveries to home goods and products wrapped in plastic packaging.
UNCTAD estimates, about 75% plastic by the pandemic coronavirus likely to become waste, clogging landfills and the sea. While the adverse impact of plastic wastes, for example, fisheries, tourism and Maritime transport, according to the UN environment programme, is $ 40 billion a year.
In this regard, UNCTAD calls on governments to abandon the use of plastic or switch to non-toxic and biodegradable alternative to plastics, such as glass, ceramics, natural fibers, paper, cardboard, rice husks, natural rubber and animal proteins. It will also facilitate the creation of new jobs, particularly in developing countries, as they are key providers of many substitutes for plastics. Growing global demand could create new, more environmentally friendly trade and investment opportunities.