Personal protective equipment (PPE) pollution driven by the COVID-19 pandemic in Cox's Bazar, the longest natural beach in the world

Md Refat Jahan Rakib, Gabriel E. De-la-Torre, Carlos Ivan Pizarro-Ortega, Diana Carolina Dioses-Salinas, Sultan Al-Nahian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

The extensive use of personal protective equipment (PPE) driven by the COVID-19 pandemic has become an important contributor to marine plastic pollution. However, there are very few studies quantifying and characterizing this type of pollution in coastal areas. In the present study, we monitored the occurrence of PPE (face masks, bouffant caps, and gloves) discarded in 13 sites along Cox's Bazar beach, the longest naturally occurring beach in the world. The vast majority of the items were face masks (97.9%), and the mean PPE density across sites was 6.29 × 10−3 PPE m−2. The presence of illegal dumping sites was the main source of PPE, which was mainly located on touristic/recreational beaches. Fishing activity contributed to PPE pollution at a lower level. Poor solid waste management practices in Cox's Bazar demonstrated to be a major driver of PPE pollution. The potential solutions and sustainable alternatives were discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112497
Pages (from-to)112497
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume169
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bangladesh
  • Coronavirus
  • Management
  • Mask
  • Plastic
  • Waste

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Personal protective equipment (PPE) pollution driven by the COVID-19 pandemic in Cox's Bazar, the longest natural beach in the world'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this