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Antoinette Taus urges public to use fabric masks instead of disposable ones

Antoinette Taus is urging the public to use reusable face masks instead of the disposable kind, which can add to water pollution. In a recent Instagram post, the actress and United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) goodwill ambassador shared photos of mask-littered beaches and expressed alarm over the amount of medical waste found in oceans amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Our ocean is suffering in so many ways and one of them is due to all of our #COVID19 disposable masks and gloves," Antoinette wrote in the caption.

"This devastatingly high volume of medical waste adds to the ongoing global issue of (plastic pollution)," she added.

"Improper treatment and disposal of healthcare waste poses serious hazards of secondary disease transmission due to exposures to infectious agents among waste pickers, waste workers, health workers, patients, and the community in general where waste is improperly disposed," Antoinette warned. The UNEP goodwill ambassador shared some environment-friendly tips on how we can help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

One of them is opting for a fabric mask instead of a disposable one.

"Please choose reusable fabric masks (if you are not significantly exposed or a medical professional), and no matter which type you choose, please handle them carefully and dispose of them properly," Antoinette said. She urges the public to separate all used and contaminated medical waste from your regular household trash. You can do this by labelling medical waste and ensuring they are properly disposed by community garbage collectors and waste management.

Finally, Antoinette urges everyone to try limiting their consumption of "unnecessary" waste.

"Avoid single use plastics when ordering take out and delivery and make sure to segregate and recycle all used packaging. Most reusable items like utensils, straws and cups are already available at home," she said.

Antoinette Taus was designated as a UNEP National Goodwill Ambassador for the Philippines in September last year.

The award-winning actor, singer, host and environmental advocate founded CORA, a non-profit organization to help foster action for sustainable development through volunteerism; as well as the The Sustainable Planet, a social enterprise centered on improving the lives of indigenous peoples and those living in poverty in the Philippines. — Margaret Claire Layug/LA, GMA News


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