Eco-friendly gear: Southeast Asia finds ways to minimise waste during coronavirus outbreak

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Firefighters, who also help administer disinfection and community feeding programmes, in reusable protective coveralls in Tondo in Manila, Philippines. The jumpsuits are non-medical grade, but offer frontliners some protection from the coronavirus. Image: Crispian Lao Wearing a face mask, sanitising one’s hands, and using other protective equipment to stem the spread of the coronavirus have become essential for many people around the world. But the amount of waste being generated from single-use items is posing a huge threat to the environment, already reeling from rising temperatures and overpopulation. While it is important to take personal precautions to protect against infection, are there eco-friendlier ways to do so? In Southeast Asia, which witnessed a spike of new coronavirus cases this month, some resourceful citizens have improvised and come up with less carbon-intensive safety equipment and distribution. Reusable eco-bag material used for protective suits in the Philippines With hazmat suits and isolation gowns prioritised for hospital frontliners fighting Covid-19 in the Philippines, non-healthcare workers are exposed to the risk of contracting the virus. Street sweepers don the reusable protective suits in Quezon City, Philippines. Image: Crispian Lao These are the country’s cleaners, policemen, firefighters and waste-pickers, whose work is all the […]

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