Over 10,000 tons of medical waste from the COVID-19 pandemic response have put global health waste management systems under tremendous pressure.
They threaten human and environmental health, the World Health Organization said Tuesday.
Gloves are a bigger volume than masks, and vaccine waste is taking over from masks, said Maggie Montgomery, a WHO water and sanitation technical officer.
She said countries are experiencing a dire need to improve waste management practices due to discarded personal protective equipment or PPE from the health sector and the public.
As of last November, 1.5 billion units of PPE weighing about 87,000 tons had been distributed across WHO regions.