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COVID-19 and its environmental impact

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Some people have already started trying to draw a link between the pandemic and climate change, but what links them may be more apparent in its outcome than at the outset.

We are experiencing an unusual situation and are facing countless uncertainties surrounding this virus that has endangered the entire world and, moreover, led to some unexpected environmental repercussions.

Lockdown orders in almost every corner of the world, industrial shutdowns and reduced travel have restored blue skies in the world’s major cities and lowered pollution levels. The coronavirus, however, is not only a threat to public health; it may also pose a serious threat to the environment if action is not taken promptly and responsibly.

Purses and backpacks are now seldom seen without masks, gloves and hand sanitizers for self-protection. These are now essential items for humanity but they are extremely harmful if we do not dispose of them responsibly. Therefore, although our skies are clear and free of pollution, plastic consumption is still rising sharply.

Normality will gradually resume and our reality will start to resemble what we were used to, albeit with consequences for biodiversity depending on how we act. Environmental studies predict that in 30 years, there will be more marine debris than ocean creatures, considering that more than eight million tons of plastic is being dumped into the sea every year.

Plastic pollution was undoubtedly one of humanity’s greatest challenges even before COVID-19 emerged. Recently, images have been circulating of beaches littered with gloves and masks due to their mass use.

MAPFRE does not want to emerge from this lockdown faced with a more polluted planet; the company therefore intends to accept its share of the responsibility and will be providing recommendations on how to dispose of these items responsibly.