Over the past few years, the demand for face masks has increased significantly because of the pandemic. Even though face masks have been a primary source for preventing the spread of COVID-19, the increased production adversely affects our environment. Now we are faced with a new problem: Air Pollution. As we move away from a pandemic, the current use of Facemask is not just to prevent diseases but also protect from the increased air pollution
While there has been a wide range of facemasks available disposable masks have been the most popular choice amongst daily users.
Disposable masks have a short shelf life as they need to be disposed of after a short span of usage. The disposal of facemasks contributes to the overall increase in microplastic deposits on our planet. Hence it is critical to outline the environmental impact and move towards sustainable solutions.
“It has become the need of the hour for mask manufacturers to invest in biodegradable options. The use of sustainable raw materials would ensure that even if the masks are disposable, the sustainable raw materials would be eco-friendly and would not harm the environment,” Hemant Sapra, Co-Founder and President of Karam Group told ABP Live in an interaction.
Investing in sustainable masks and technology that helps decontaminate and recycle masks would significantly reduce waste disposal. Besides harming the environment, a large number of disposable masks also carry a significant financial cost.
According to Hemant Sapra, “the Covid-19 pandemic is estimated to generate up to 7,000 tons of medical waste every day. Most of this waste is disposable facemasks. Even as the pandemic slowed down, healthcare workers are still taking precautions and continue wearing masks most of the time. Since the masses are now better aware of the benefits of wearing a face mask, it has become a part of their everyday precautionary measure”.
Investing in better modern technologies in mask manufacturing can reduce this detrimental impact on our ecosystem.