As the war against COVID-19 rages throughout the world, plastic gadgets- from surgical gloves, surgical masks, plastic aprons, facial masks, body bags, plastic sheets to bottles of used hand sanitizers now brings to bear on mankind another burden of massive waste management. There have been calls from ecologists and Eco artists for human beings to limit the use of plastic materials which are harmful to the environment and nature as a whole when not properly disposed of. COVID-19 may be a short war, but its effects on the environment may take decades to cure if we are not careful with the way we manage the waste generated from the COVID-19 preventive measures all over the world.
Many “first world” countries have access to disposable face masks, but most “third world” countries lack these services and this has quickly led to tailors all over the continent making washable and reusable facial masks from local fabrics. A thought came to my mind then, that due to lack of these services, Africans and other third world countries are saving the planet through the production of these washable face masks. I know however, that we still need to mitigate the amount of COVID-19 imposed waste on the planet earth.
My cry is that, we should all be one another’s keeper by minding the way we dispose of the bottles of sanitizers and disposable face masks which we use to protect ourselves against COVID-19. In so doing, we will be remembering the earth, and the responsibility to save and preserve for today’s humanity and its generations yet to come.