The Conservation Education Officer of the Ghana Wildlife Society, Louisa Kabobah, has advised the general public to be more cautious in the disposal of personal protective equipment like nose masks, face shield, gloves among others.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with GhanaWeb, she said that the improper disposal of these plastic PPEs is gradually polluting the environment and has pushed for the use of nose masks made from fabric.
Individuals are now littering the streets with plastic sanitizer bottles, nose masks and gloves in a time where Ghana is still struggling with proper management of plastic waste.
“People should rather go in for the fabric nose masks instead of the disposable ones, it even saves you money. You can use old or new fabrics to make them… the only caution people should take is to wash them properly before your next use,” she said.
Adding that, “There are instances when you are walking on the streets and you see masks on the floor, the best way to go is to properly dispose them into bins that are covered to prevent people from getting into contact with your used masks”.
Currently, the government has enforced the mandatory wearing of nose mask in the country, it is an offence to not wear a face mask in public. Persons who are caught violating this directive risk facing a prison sentence of 4 to 10 years or a fine of GH¢12,000 to GH¢60,000 or both.
Disposable PPEs from hospitals and private individuals are now ending up in the sea, this new trend is endangering aquatic lives. In the case of Ghana, Louisa Kabobah told GhanaWeb that laws must be enforced to punish those who are found littering with their PPEs.
“Just as we have sanctions for not wearing nose masks, there should equally be one for improper disposal. If the law deals with people who are culpable it will send a warning to others,” she advised.
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