Madam Florence Kuukyi, an Environmental Health Analyst at the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, has bemoaned the indiscriminate disposal of used nose masks in the country and advised the public to bury them.
She said nose masks, especially, the surgical ones, were bio-degradable, thus best buried to avoid endangering animals and marine lives.
Madam Kuukyi, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said, “Used nose masks are clinical wastes, so they have to be disposed of appropriately and not to be left on the bare floor. The best way is to fold the mask and tie it before disposing it in a bin or burying them.”
She said indiscriminate disposal of nose masks could lead to infections of mammals that got into contact with them and marine lives, when the nose masks ended up in the Sea.
Madam Kuukyi also cautioned against burning used nose masks, saying, the practice would pollute the atmosphere.
She said the disposal of nose masks had become an environmental threat and a challenge and called for concerted efforts from stakeholders to manage the phenomenon.
Kojo Kumah, a businessman, said the lack of waste bins in the streets might compel people to dispose the masks indiscriminately.
“Sometimes, you are in town and felt the need to change the mask after long use. You have no option than to drop it in a nearby bush or a street corner. This is the reality. Yes, the best is to bury or drop properly in a bin but there are no bins and it is not safe to carry the mask home to bury,” he said.
Jessica Opoku, a Public Servant, described the situation as worrying and called for massive public education on proper disposal of used nose masks.
She asked waste management companies to help address the challenge.
The wearing of nose masks has become part of the new normal brought about by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In recent times, government and other stakeholders have emphasized the call and enforcement of the observance of safety protocols, including the wearing of nose masks.
The Ghana News Agency has observed the use of nose masks has gone up in the national capital, Accra, with rising improper disposal of used masks on streets, walkways, and other public places, including markets.
Surgical nose masks are those mostly the ones disposed wrongly.