THE Covid-19 pandemic has caused untold damage and hardship to the lives and livelihoods of billions of people. Governments the world over are hard-pressed to find the right balance between measures to revive the economy (livelihood) and saving lives by imposing lockdowns.
In the process, pertinent issues such as environment protection have taken a back seat, and this is unfortunate.
Take, for instance, the disposal of used face masks. As the wearing of face masks is now mandatory, what is worrisome is that millions of these soiled items are being discarded indiscriminately on a daily basis. They can be seen on pavements, in drains, walking trails, beaches and even in elevators. If this method of disposal is left unchecked, soiled face masks will eventually find their way to the sea and cause negative impacts on marine life.
We should be mindful that, as some of the soiled masks may carry the Covid-19 virus, they should not be randomly discarded as normal waste.
Let’s therefore do our part and dispose of them the way we should.
The private sector – especially those companies that are doing well in the stock market thanks to this pandemic – should chip in by sponsoring dedicated bins as part of their corporate social responsibility. The bins should be placed at public places, for instance train stations, schools, public parks and government departments.
Other areas such as supermarkets and shopping malls, apartments and condominiums should also make an effort to have such special bins.
Here’s my plea to all Malaysians. We only have one earth; let’s take good care of it. Each of us has a duty and responsibility to protect and preserve Mother Earth for our future generations to enjoy.
All Malaysians must exercise due care in the disposal of used face masks to protect their fellow citizens and the environment.
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