Rising plastic consumption is polluting nature, dilemma over COVID-19


Increased plastic consumption driven by COVID-19-related health concerns leads to a dilemma as people create more waste to protect their health while paving the way for a risk to environmental health in the future.

While some people think single-use items are a must against the coronavirus, environmentalists have warned that this will affect public health and people should be more careful about using them.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Yavuz Eroglu, head of the Turkish Plastics Manufacturers Research, Development and Educational Foundation (PAGEV), said that in these COVID-19 times people are using disposable items to guard themselves against the virus.

Touching on possible environmental problems due to the high use of disposable items, Eroglu said disposable products are “100% recyclable,” so if this waste is collected properly, there will not be any environmental issues.

“The only problem with disposables is that if you litter them, if you dispose of them in the environment or if you throw them in the sea, nobody collects them for recycling.”

He said stopping the accumulation of this waste in the environment, educating people in this regard and establishing a more solid waste recycling infrastructure would prevent any problem of pollution.

He highlighted that plastics are also valuable items economically as they are used again and again in various sectors.

“There are a lot of people that collect them. Even in the streets, the street collectors collect them and take them to the recycling company. They get some money for that. That’s why if you talk about recycling, that is not just an environmental issue, but there is also an economic issue.”

He added that increasing the recycling rate and waste management infrastructure investments in the country will also stem the import of raw material that industries need, which is also another economic benefit.

Eroglu concluded that regardless of the types, people should use plastic, glass or metal responsibly to prevent any side effects on the environment.

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