The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has increased environmental pollution for two main reasons; A) More plastic bottles containing hand sanitizer, gloves and masks are being disposed of into the environment and B) A lack of government funding for councils to improve their recycling capabilities, BRT reported.
A great deal of this waste produce is turning up on the beaches, environmentalists say.
They also pointed out that people turning to nature during the epidemic, when social isolation and physical distance rules were in place, has had an environmental impact. Visitors to natural environments have left trash behind. Turtle spawning areas have been impacted because of camping and people driving their vehicles on the beaches.
Former president of the Biologists Association (Bio-Der), Hasan Sarpten, pointed out that the pandemic had affected not only humans, but also on nature and wildlife. He said, “In the early days, within the scope of epidemic measures, With the ‘closures’ at different times, the decrease of use of vehicles, the closure of factories, the decrease in human activities have caused temporary reductions in carbon emissions and air pollution compared to previous periods. Naturally, when people remained at home, both the destruction of nature stopped for a while and the world was left free to non-human creatures in a sense. We have often seen images of wild animals descending into parks and cities in the early stages of the pandemic“, he said.
Sarpten stated however, that when humanity got over the first shock in the fight against the virus and human activity resumed, the destruction and pollution continued from where it left off. “Despite the pandemic at the end of 2020, the rate of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could not be prevented from reaching record levels. This has shown that humanity has not learned the necessary lesson from the virus epidemics, which is a result of the destruction of nature, and still continues to destroy nature even more rapidly”, he said.
Sarpten said, “Obviously, there is no destruction of nature due to the epidemic, but there is a lot of data showing that no lessons have been learned from the post-epidemic period”.
The government has focused its energies on restarting the tourism trade but has no plans in place to protect the environment, he said.