Plastic waste increases during pandemic

Food order via online systems has increased during the Covid-19 pandemic and as a result, more plastics were used, in turn leading to higher plastic pollution, according to Thant Myanmar research, which creates plastic pollution awareness in Myanmar.

“During the Covid-19 pandemic, online food ordering services have increased. As a result, they used plastic bags and one-time use plastic bottles and so on. The more plastic use increased, the more plastic waste increased. The rate of garbage in Yangon Region has increased compared to before Covid-19, ” said May Thet Htwe, Thant Myanmar’s PR and community engagement officer.

When the hot food is transferred to plastic bags, chemicals from the plastic bags will dissolve in the food items. Next, people burn their rubbish at the road sides. Plastics were among the garbage and they polluted the air. We then breathe the polluted air, she continued.

Yangon produces 300 tonnes of garbage per day and among them, 30 tonnes were disseminated in the environment. Among the 30 tonnes, 24 tonnes were thrown into Yangon River as a waste according to their research.

About four plastic bags per day were used by each person in Yangon and for an average of one year, a person used 1,500 plastic bags, it stated.

“We need to reduce the use of plastic bags. But, everyone said the use of plastics couldn’t be avoided during Covid-19.

“In reality, we can reduce plastic by taking our own bags and bottles when ordering food or ask the restaurant owners to use less plastic bags.

“Or we can even cook our food at home. This is the way we can avoid use of plastic. By doing so, we can ease the burden of cleaning workers and plastic pollution, ” she added. — Eleven Media Group/ANN

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