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Fed Up By Face Mask Trash Everywhere, Inspiring Penang Siblings Clean Up Public Spaces

Fed Up By Face Mask Trash Everywhere, Inspiring Penang Siblings Clean Up Public Spaces

The siblings were concerned about the health risk of dirty face masks with Covid-19 still a threat.

Kirat Kaur

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The sight of a dirty face mask laying on the ground has become the norm ever since the pandemic hit.

Not only is this a terrible pollution to the environment, but a used face mask discarded irresponsibly is a big health risk as well – which is why two Penang siblings have decided to do something about it.

Vasugi Ramasamy and her brother Suriya Kuppusamy started a cleanup initiative, picking up littered face masks on the route between their home in Sungai Bakap to Parit Buntar, where Vasugi works as a clerk in a local supermarket.

Vasugi shared their deed on Facebook with pictures of the duo decked in homemade protective gear of face masks, gloves, plastic bags and trash pick up sticks during their clean-up activities.

She also said that she felt compelled to start cleaning up the littered face masks after seeing the dirty masks strewn around on her commute to work.

The sight concerned Vasugi, who was worried about the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the health risks of used face masks to children and the elderly.

Vasugi and Suriya’s haul from a morning of cleanup.
(Credit: Vasugi Ramasamy/Facebook)

The reason we started doing this is to reduce the spread of germs, bacteria and viruses during the Covid-19 pandemic. So friends, please think twice before throwing away your used face masks everywhere.

Vasugi Ramasamy via Facebook.

The inspiring woman also called for Malaysians to be more responsible, and considerate, when discarding their used face masks.

According to the Health Ministry directives, based on World Health Organisation recommendations, used face masks must be folded and wrapped in a small plastic bag or tissue before disposed of in a closed-lid bin.

This is to reduce the potential health risk to the waste collector workers if the face masks are simply disposed of openly and mix together with other wastes.


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