The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) says it has observed positive trends in the environment amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“During the initial phase of the local outbreak when businesses and schools shifted their operations online, we saw some positive changes concerning the air quality and we have documented that,” Director of Environmental Management and Conservation at NEPA, Anthony McKenzie, told JIS News.
Mr. McKenzie shared that the agency also noted improvement in the coastal water quality along the north coast; however, NEPA is still monitoring this trend, as it may be too early to make a pronouncement.
“The improvement in air quality was mostly noted in the Corporate Area and some major towns, like Montego Bay and Mandeville. The environment benefits from how we operate, and if we undertake our daily activities, such as commerce and commute, by using less of our resources and conserving, then the environment will benefit greatly,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr. McKenzie is encouraging persons to properly dispose of personal protective equipment (PPE) used against COVID-19.
“These items contain materials, such as plastic, which are not environmentally friendly. We need to ensure that we properly containerise single-use plastics and PPE and ensure they are taken to the correct disposal facilities,” he said.
“I want to encourage persons to choose effective reusable cloth masks as recommended by health officials and shy away from single-use masks and PPE, for the sake of the environment,” Mr. McKenzie added.