(ORDO NEWS) — During the coronavirus pandemic, a huge amount of tons of medical waste appeared – numerous syringes, test kits, masks and gloves, vaccine vials.
They pose a threat not only to human health, but are generally dangerous to the environment. This was stated in a report by the World Health Organization.
From March 2020 until the end of autumn 2021, the UN has purchased almost 87 tons of PPE – personal protective equipment. This was necessary in order to cope with the coronavirus.
Presumably, most of it has already been used, so these funds have become waste. In addition, 140 million testing kits have been purchased throughout the pandemic.
They will lead to the formation of 2.6 thousand tons of non-infectious waste, as well as 732 thousand liters of chemical waste.
Almost 8 billion vaccines have been delivered worldwide. This could result in 144 tons of waste, which will consist of syringes, needles and various containers.
It is worth paying attention to the fact that 30% of medical institutions do not have specialized equipment that could easily process a variety of waste, both ordinary and those associated with COVID-19.
Despite the facts provided, personal protective equipment will continue to be supplied to medical workers in the right amount.
Michael Ryan, Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program noted that there is a need to ensure that PPE is used as safely as possible. They must not harm the environment.
In order to reduce hazardous waste, it is recommended to use sustainable packaging and delivery methods, as well as the use of reusable personal protective equipment, materials that can be recycled or those that are biodegradable.
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