REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1598.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Other Keywords: COVID-19; Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); Plastics wastes.
Online: 23 May 2023 (07:39:52 CEST)
The years 2019 to 2022 are being marked by the pandemic resulting from a viral infection, COVID-19. The demand and use of PPE has never been so high and it is often discarded without considering the correct disposal route and the environmental impact that this type and volume of waste can generate. The aim of this study was to analyze the increased demand for PPE used during the pandemic and, consequently, the generation of these wastes. In addition to this analysis, it is extremely important to raise the discussion about the treatment of these residues and the possibilities of more ecological personal protection equipment, such as biodegradable or reusable ones. The extensive use of PPE, which is mostly plastics and is not easily degraded, mainly leads to its accumulation in landfills but, if disposed of incorrectly, it could reach marine environments, contributing to the formation of microplastics in the oceans. Therefore, this article also aims to relate these themes to the Sustainable Development Goals, as efficient management aligned with sustainable development goals is essential to mitigate these anticipated problems and ensure a more sustainable future.