NREB told to come up with proper plan to handle rampant and irresponsible face mask disposal

Raymond Thong

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By Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, June 4: The Sarawak Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB) has been urged to come up with a proper plan to address the issue of rampant and irresponsible face mask disposal.

Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) Southern Zone director of political affairs, Raymond Thong said while the use of face masks are effective to prevent the spread of Covid-19 infection in the society, the victim of situation has shifted to environment instead.

“Therefore, NREB should commence a study, if it has not been done yet, on how face masks can affect human health, the impact to the environment and come up with a proper disposal or recycling plan.

“Furthermore, the people must be civic conscious to dispose of all used masks properly,” he said in a statement today.

Used face masks thrown in public places.

Thong said the face masks posed a bigger concern because they are made directly from micro-sized plastic fibers of thickness 1 to 10 micrometers.

“When breaking down in the environment, the mask may release more micro-sized plastics easier and faster than bulk plastics like plastic bags and plastic containers.

“It will be further worsened by a new degeneration mask and nano masks (which directly use nano-sized plastic fibers with a diameter smaller than 1 micrometer. This will accumulate and release harmful chemical and biological substances like bisphenol A and heavy metals and pathogenic microorganisms,” he explained. — DayakDaily