Purpose: The goal is to provide a comprehensive framework about how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting both plastic pollution and CO2 emissions mainly due to the consumption of face masks in a hospital located in southern Italy, highlighting the CO2 impact as well as the consequences on waste management systems. Methodology: A detailed literature review research was conducted, scrutinizing governmental websites,technical reports and using engines such as Science Direct, Google Scholar, Elsevier, Inderscience, Scopus. Furthermore, different meetings with the managers of an Apulian hospital have been realized to benchmark the consumption of face masks in the periods before and during the pandemic. Findings: The research shows that the pandemic has led to an increase of 1,395% in the use of face masks with consequent impacts both to CO2 emissions, which can be linked to both the production and disposal phases, and to waste management. The most significant value concerns the emissions of CO2 attributable to FFP2 with a rise of 11,735%, compared to the increase in CO2 emissions equal to 1,130% caused by face surgical masks. Originality: The case study underlines to what extent the excessive use of face masks contributes to pollution and CO2 emissions linked to both the production, disposal phases, and waste management. Possible practical implications: This work can be used to identify solutions or alternatives in line with the concepts of sustainability, circular economy and recycling focusing on material alternatives on facial mask production.

COVID-19 Pandemic Face Masks Pollution: Case Study from an Apulian Hospital

Gallucci Teodoro;Giovanni Lagioia;Vincenzo Campobasso
2021

Abstract

Purpose: The goal is to provide a comprehensive framework about how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting both plastic pollution and CO2 emissions mainly due to the consumption of face masks in a hospital located in southern Italy, highlighting the CO2 impact as well as the consequences on waste management systems. Methodology: A detailed literature review research was conducted, scrutinizing governmental websites,technical reports and using engines such as Science Direct, Google Scholar, Elsevier, Inderscience, Scopus. Furthermore, different meetings with the managers of an Apulian hospital have been realized to benchmark the consumption of face masks in the periods before and during the pandemic. Findings: The research shows that the pandemic has led to an increase of 1,395% in the use of face masks with consequent impacts both to CO2 emissions, which can be linked to both the production and disposal phases, and to waste management. The most significant value concerns the emissions of CO2 attributable to FFP2 with a rise of 11,735%, compared to the increase in CO2 emissions equal to 1,130% caused by face surgical masks. Originality: The case study underlines to what extent the excessive use of face masks contributes to pollution and CO2 emissions linked to both the production, disposal phases, and waste management. Possible practical implications: This work can be used to identify solutions or alternatives in line with the concepts of sustainability, circular economy and recycling focusing on material alternatives on facial mask production.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11586/372553
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