An Asian Development Bank report said Manila alone produces 280 tons of medical waste a day, while the United Nations said 75 percent of used masks and pandemic-related waste will end up in landfills or in seas.
UN Environment Program executive director Inger Andersen warned of uncontrolled pollution if the large increase in medical waste is not managed soundly.
He said, “Masks, PPE, gloves and other disposal items are an essential part of the COVID-19 response. But this plastic waste threatens to negate strides made in the fight against disposable plastics, marine litter and microplastics – especially in countries with weak waste management infrastructure.”
For the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, culprits must be identified so appropriate action can be taken.
DENR Undersecretary Jonas Leones said, “They could be charged with the violation of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act or the Anti-Littering Law.”