WITH the current pandemic swirling around us, most people now wear a face mask when they go out. In fact, it has become a must-have item.
What is worrisome is that millions of these used face masks are being discarded indiscriminately.
I have seen face masks strewn on pavements, in drains and on escalators. Even our beaches are not spared.
Besides being an eyesore, used face masks pose a public health risk.
As they may carry the Covid-19 virus, they should not be randomly discarded as normal waste.
Think about it: should a contaminated face mask be discarded inside a confined space such as an elevator, it will pose a threat to those using it.
Unfortunately, not many consider the face mask a hazardous waste and hence pay little attention after its use.
Face masks used by health frontliners and patients are treated as medical waste (and disposed of accordingly to strict rules). However, the same cannot be said of face masks worn by the general public.
The standard practice upon reaching home is for us to quickly remove our face masks and throw them into the trash bin.
These face masks are not separated but instead dumped into the same bin together with other household trash.