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      SARS-CoV-2 pandemic-induced PPE and single-use plastic waste generation scenario

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          Abstract

          The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has demonstrated both positive and negative effects on the environment. Major concerns over personal hygiene, mandated and ease in lockdown actions and slackening of some policy measures have led to a massive surge in the use of disposable personal protective equipment (PPE) and other single-use plastic items. This generated an enormous amount of plastic waste from both healthcare and household units, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Apart from the healthcare workers, the general public have become accustomed to using PPE. These habits are threatening the land and marine environment with immense loads of plastic waste, due to improper disposal practices across the world, especially in developing nations. Contaminated PPE has already made its way to the oceans which will inevitably produce plastic particles alongside other pathogen-driven diseases. This study provided an estimation-based approach in quantifying the amount of contaminated plastic waste that can be expected daily from the massive usage of PPE (e.g. facemasks) because of the countrywide mandated regulations on PPE usage. The situation of Bangladesh has been analysed and projections revealed that a total of 3.4 billion pieces of single-use facemask, hand sanitizer bottles, hand gloves and disposable polyethylene bags will be produced monthly, which will give rise to 472.30 t of disposable plastic waste per day. The equations provided for the quantification of waste from used single-use plastic and PPE can be used for other countries for rough estimations. Then, the discussed recommendations will help concerned authorities and policy makers to design effective response plans. Sustainable plastic waste management for the current and post-pandemic period can be imagined and acted upon.

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          Most cited references 63

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          Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1

          To the Editor: A novel human coronavirus that is now named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (formerly called HCoV-19) emerged in Wuhan, China, in late 2019 and is now causing a pandemic. 1 We analyzed the aerosol and surface stability of SARS-CoV-2 and compared it with SARS-CoV-1, the most closely related human coronavirus. 2 We evaluated the stability of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV-1 in aerosols and on various surfaces and estimated their decay rates using a Bayesian regression model (see the Methods section in the Supplementary Appendix, available with the full text of this letter at NEJM.org). SARS-CoV-2 nCoV-WA1-2020 (MN985325.1) and SARS-CoV-1 Tor2 (AY274119.3) were the strains used. Aerosols (<5 μm) containing SARS-CoV-2 (105.25 50% tissue-culture infectious dose [TCID50] per milliliter) or SARS-CoV-1 (106.75-7.00 TCID50 per milliliter) were generated with the use of a three-jet Collison nebulizer and fed into a Goldberg drum to create an aerosolized environment. The inoculum resulted in cycle-threshold values between 20 and 22, similar to those observed in samples obtained from the upper and lower respiratory tract in humans. Our data consisted of 10 experimental conditions involving two viruses (SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV-1) in five environmental conditions (aerosols, plastic, stainless steel, copper, and cardboard). All experimental measurements are reported as means across three replicates. SARS-CoV-2 remained viable in aerosols throughout the duration of our experiment (3 hours), with a reduction in infectious titer from 103.5 to 102.7 TCID50 per liter of air. This reduction was similar to that observed with SARS-CoV-1, from 104.3 to 103.5 TCID50 per milliliter (Figure 1A). SARS-CoV-2 was more stable on plastic and stainless steel than on copper and cardboard, and viable virus was detected up to 72 hours after application to these surfaces (Figure 1A), although the virus titer was greatly reduced (from 103.7 to 100.6 TCID50 per milliliter of medium after 72 hours on plastic and from 103.7 to 100.6 TCID50 per milliliter after 48 hours on stainless steel). The stability kinetics of SARS-CoV-1 were similar (from 103.4 to 100.7 TCID50 per milliliter after 72 hours on plastic and from 103.6 to 100.6 TCID50 per milliliter after 48 hours on stainless steel). On copper, no viable SARS-CoV-2 was measured after 4 hours and no viable SARS-CoV-1 was measured after 8 hours. On cardboard, no viable SARS-CoV-2 was measured after 24 hours and no viable SARS-CoV-1 was measured after 8 hours (Figure 1A). Both viruses had an exponential decay in virus titer across all experimental conditions, as indicated by a linear decrease in the log10TCID50 per liter of air or milliliter of medium over time (Figure 1B). The half-lives of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV-1 were similar in aerosols, with median estimates of approximately 1.1 to 1.2 hours and 95% credible intervals of 0.64 to 2.64 for SARS-CoV-2 and 0.78 to 2.43 for SARS-CoV-1 (Figure 1C, and Table S1 in the Supplementary Appendix). The half-lives of the two viruses were also similar on copper. On cardboard, the half-life of SARS-CoV-2 was longer than that of SARS-CoV-1. The longest viability of both viruses was on stainless steel and plastic; the estimated median half-life of SARS-CoV-2 was approximately 5.6 hours on stainless steel and 6.8 hours on plastic (Figure 1C). Estimated differences in the half-lives of the two viruses were small except for those on cardboard (Figure 1C). Individual replicate data were noticeably “noisier” (i.e., there was more variation in the experiment, resulting in a larger standard error) for cardboard than for other surfaces (Fig. S1 through S5), so we advise caution in interpreting this result. We found that the stability of SARS-CoV-2 was similar to that of SARS-CoV-1 under the experimental circumstances tested. This indicates that differences in the epidemiologic characteristics of these viruses probably arise from other factors, including high viral loads in the upper respiratory tract and the potential for persons infected with SARS-CoV-2 to shed and transmit the virus while asymptomatic. 3,4 Our results indicate that aerosol and fomite transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is plausible, since the virus can remain viable and infectious in aerosols for hours and on surfaces up to days (depending on the inoculum shed). These findings echo those with SARS-CoV-1, in which these forms of transmission were associated with nosocomial spread and super-spreading events, 5 and they provide information for pandemic mitigation efforts.
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            Stability of SARS-CoV-2 in different environmental conditions

            We previously reported the detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in different clinical samples. 1 This virus can be detected on different surfaces in a contaminated site. 2 Here, we report the stability of SARS-CoV-2 in different environmental conditions. We first measured the stability of SARS-CoV-2 at different temperatures. SARS-CoV-2 in virus transport medium (final concentration ∼6·8 log unit of 50% tissue culture infectious dose [TCID50] per mL) was incubated for up to 14 days and then tested for its infectivity (appendix p 1). The virus is highly stable at 4°C, but sensitive to heat. At 4°C, there was only around a 0·7 log-unit reduction of infectious titre on day 14. With the incubation temperature increased to 70°C, the time for virus inactivation was reduced to 5 mins. We further investigated the stability of this virus on different surfaces. Briefly, a 5 μL droplet of virus culture (∼7·8 log unit of TCID50 per mL) was pipetted on a surface (appendix p 1; ∼cm2 per piece) and left at room temperature (22°C) with a relative humidity of around 65%. The inoculated objects retrieved at desired time-points were immediately soaked with 200 μL of virus transport medium for 30 mins to elute the virus. Therefore, this recovery of virus does not necessarily reflect the potential to pick up the virus from casual contact. No infectious virus could be recovered from printing and tissue papers after a 3-hour incubation, whereas no infectious virus could be detected from treated wood and cloth on day 2. By contrast, SARS-CoV-2 was more stable on smooth surfaces. No infectious virus could be detected from treated smooth surfaces on day 4 (glass and banknote) or day 7 (stainless steel and plastic). Strikingly, a detectable level of infectious virus could still be present on the outer layer of a surgical mask on day 7 (∼0·1% of the original inoculum). Interestingly, a biphasic decay of infectious SARS-CoV-2 could be found in samples recovered from these smooth surfaces (appendix pp 2–7). 39 representative non-infectious samples tested positive by RT-PCR 3 (data not shown), showing that non-infectious viruses could still be recovered by the eluents. We also tested the virucidal effects of disinfectants by adding 15 μL of SARS-CoV-2 culture (∼7·8 log unit of TCID50 per mL) to 135 μL of various disinfectants at working concentration (appendix p 1). With the exception of a 5-min incubation with hand soap, no infectious virus could be detected after a 5-min incubation at room temperature (22°C). Additionally, we also found that SARS-CoV-2 is extremely stable in a wide range of pH values at room temperature (pH 3–10; appendix p 1). Overall, SARS-CoV-2 can be highly stable in a favourable environment, 4 but it is also susceptible to standard disinfection methods.
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              Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made

              We present the first ever global account of the production, use, and end-of-life fate of all plastics ever made by humankind.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                (View ORCID Profile)
                (View ORCID Profile)
                Journal
                Waste Management & Research: The Journal for a Sustainable Circular Economy
                Waste Manag Res
                SAGE Publications
                0734-242X
                1096-3669
                June 2021
                January 07 2021
                June 2021
                : 39
                : 1_suppl
                : 3-17
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, North South University, Bangladesh
                [2 ]Department of Civil Engineering, University of Asia Pacific, Bangladesh
                Article
                10.1177/0734242X20980828
                © 2021

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