We have read so many stories of how the world is slowly healing as most people continue to be under lockdown due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Rivers are turning clear, turtles are returning to the beaches, more and more rare animals are being spotted all over the planet.
That's all great news, but environmentalists are now concerned with a new problem - the improper disposal of masks and gloves.
In Malaysia, Selangor Princess and environmentalist Tengku Zatashah Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah is doing her part to remind Malaysians as well.
In line with World Environment Day, the princess has initiated an awareness campaign via Instagram callled #NoMoreLitter #BecauseWeCare.
Speaking to Rojak Daily
, Tengku Zatashah said that the reason for the campaign is to remind people how the improper disposal of gloves and masks was fast becoming a global concern.
"The issue has been widely reported in all the major media from CNN to BBC News, to New York Post etc and unfortunately in Malaysia, we are also seeing a huge amount of mask and gloves litter."
"My aim is to highlight that we must throw our masks and gloves properly into the wastebins," she said.
Explaining further, Tengku Zatashah said that improper disposal of masks and gloves were actually a health hazard and it could also risk possible contamination to others.
"Masks and gloves disposed on the streets or in supermarket trolleys will cause contamination and is a health hazard.They have to be picked up by someone, whether it is a street cleaner or supermarket assistant or it is left there to rot."
"So I would like to urge the public to please throw your disposable masks and gloves properly into the bins. We must take care of each other and the environment. We must be considerate. #NoMoreLitter #BecauseWeCare," she said.
A collaborative effort
According to Tengku Zatashah, the outreach program is a collaboration with Reef Check Malaysia
"Every year we collaborate together on World Environment Day and do a beach cleaup in Selangor. This year due to COVID-19, we had to cancel out plans but I realised a far more pressing issue was the growing amount of litter of masks that is becoming a safety hazard for the community," she said.
Tengku Zatashah added that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, safety should be the main priority and concern.
"My campaign #NoMoreLitter #BecauseWeCare is to share how we all as a community must take care of each other’s safety and therefore dispose of masks and gloves properly into the bins."
"I hope that today for World Environment Day 2020, we can change the mindset when it comes to littering and really make that effort to be civic-minded and considerate for one another. We must stand united," she said.
Join the movement
To join the awareness campaign, all you have to do is:
1. Post a photo of you with the sign saying #NoMoreLitter #BecauseWeCare
2. Tag three friends to do the same!
3. Tag @zatashah
and use the hashtag #WorldEnvironmentDay2020
! So join the movement but please ya, don't just post a picture and forget about it.
Spread the word and practice what you preach! Remember that this is our world and it is our reponsibility to keep it clean.
Happy World Environment Day, everyone!