With the current pandemic swirling around us, we must now wear face masks when we go to public places. Hence, face masks have become as important as our wallets. However, even though Malaysians are adhering to SOPs in general, many of us are discarding face masks indiscriminately (aka LITTERING!).
Recently, freelance journalist Norman Goh created a photo series showing the grim afterlife of many face masks that end up on Malaysian streets.
The dark and gritty pictures show the protective gear carelessly discarded in public places such as roads, sidewalks, and car parks across the Klang Valley. Take a look:
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Dear Malaysians and friends, These collection of photos I took, may look disgusting and dirty to you. Yes, you should feel the same way. Over the past few months since the government imposed the Movement Control Order since March, and as we slowly open up to the Recovery phase now, I’m still feeling very worried witg the attitudes and bad habits of some Malaysians. Look at these, used masks were thrown away just like that on the side walk, on the road, car parks, you name it. They’re everywhere. Dispose used masks properly and pack them properly before disposing. You may not know if you’re infected and because of your selfish behaviour, you put other people at risk, especially the cleaning workers and collectors. They have family too and they too are afraid of getting infected. So, please fellow Malaysians, do your part. Keep yourself safe and others too, dispose your masks properly and practice good hygiene. Dispose your rubbish and masks appropriately, not on the floor or out from your car window. We are still in the midst of fighting the pandemic and let’s do our part.
According to Malay Mail, Goh stated that he was inspired to share the photos with his friends and online followers after seeing images in the news of Malaysian frontliners dressed head-to-toe in personal protective equipment (PPE).
He hopes his pictures can be a wake-up call for people to dispose of their waste in the correct manner and prevent posing any health risks to sanitation workers, who are frontliners as well, tasked with keeping our streets clean. Goh said,
“I thought people ought to know and be reminded about the proper disposal of used masks, rather than throwing them around just like cigarette butts or tissue papers. It’s common sense to dispose of our trash properly and in this case, we should not put our hardworking frontliners in cleaning jobs at risk,”
On Instagram, Goh also called out those showing “selfish behaviour” and urged people not to throw their used masks onto the streets or out of their car windows.
The concern is growing over environmental pollution caused by improper disposal of PPE in Malaysia, especially now that face masks have become mandatory in crowded public areas and onboard public transport.
Let’s all play our part to keep our streets clean, with a face mask on.
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