Plastic, infectious waste surges due to pandemic

Plastic, infectious waste surges due to pandemic

The jump in food delivery orders during the Covid-19 pandemic has caused the volume of plastic and infectious waste to spike, according to an environmental situation report presented to the cabinet on Tuesday.

After the report was presented, deputy government spokeswoman, Traisuree Taisaranakul admitted the demand for meal deliveries had risen as more people were forced to work from home due to the pandemic.

Most of the food, she said, was packed in plastic containers, the majority of which ends up in the rubbish bin.

In addition, the amount of infectious waste, which requires special treatment prior to disposal, has also increased in parallel with the rising number of Covid-19 cases in recent months -- especially in communities where many people were being quarantined.

As such, the deputy spokesperson urged eateries and food delivery service operators to find a way to reduce the use of plastic packaging. Furthermore, she said, consumers should get into the habit of sorting their rubbish.

Infectious waste, such as used face masks, should be double-wrapped in plastic bags, which should be tightly tied and clearly labelled before they are put out for collection. Ms Traisuree added the annual report noted several concerns which require close monitoring this year.

They include a possible increase in forest fires, lower reserves of usable water in dams and reservoirs, worse air pollution in urban areas.

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