COVID-19 increases the amount of infectious and plastic waste in Thailand

Surge of orders for food delivery services causes plastic waste and pollution problem.

The Thailand Environment Institute (TEI) estimates that the amount of used surgical masks nearly reaches 1 million pieces a day.

TEI president Wijarn Simachaya said the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) not only harmed public health but also raised the amount of waste surgical masks to 1.5-2 million pieces a day.

“The infectious waste must be handled properly; otherwise, they would spread the disease,” he said.

Surveys found that there were 150 tons of used surgical masks daily in Bangkok. Mr Wijarn seriously asked people to separate used surgical masks from other waste and put them into bins for hazardous waste so that officials can properly eliminate them with biomass combustion systems equipped with pollution treatment functions. People should not burn the masks because that would cause health hazards and air pollution, Mr Wijarn said.

He also said that plastic waste was increasing from 1,500 tons to 6,300 tons a day or 2 million tons yearly because of soaring orders for food delivery services. Plastic waste in Bangkok alone rose to 1,500 tons a day, Mr Wijarn said. (TNA)