Discarded coronavirus masks and gloves rising threat to environment

The complaint of the Plastic Free association that warns: "Possible vehicles of contagion"


Throwing anti-Covid 19 gloves and masks not only pollutes our planet but can help spread the virus. The complaint is from the Plastic Free association which in recent days has documented, photographing, gloves and masks thrown on the ground, out of commercial activities, on the sidewalks, behind parked cars.

The association led by Luca De Gaetano and active in the fight against plastic, in its social pages has in fact published sadly eloquent images that in just 48 hours have reached the indignant display of over 2 million users. Images, which immediately went viral, which immediately triggered the protest of some mayors who promptly called their fellow citizens to order by threatening complaints to the prosecutor.

“We must not become the new virus of Planet Earth – underlines the President of Plastic Free, Luca De Gaetano -, because in such a difficult and emergency moment like this, throwing gloves and masks on the ground as well as being unhygienic, is a form of selfishness and a lack of respect for others, not only for the planet. In such a difficult period we have to pay more attention to our daily actions since the damage we cause today we will find it tomorrow”.

For De Gaetano, then, this behavior could contribute to the spread of the pandemic because the virus survives even a few days on plastic. “According to some US researchers – explains De Gaetano – the virus on plastic can survive up to three days. A thesis confirmed by some virologists who have specified that for a complete elimination of infectivity on plastic it takes up to 72 hours. I am not saying that someone collects certain waste voluntarily from the ground, but such a thing still puts people at risk, such as ecological operators, for example”.

According to De Gaetano, therefore, it is enough to stop for a moment to reflect to avoid such behavior. “This quarantine slows down our rhythms and leaves us great room for reflection. Disposable masks and gloves should be discarded in the appropriate containers. The abandonment of waste – concludes the President of Plastic Free – is always an irresponsible act but, today, this behavior is incomprehensible and even dangerous”.

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