The COVID-19 pandemic has posed a number of challenges to the global fight against plastic waste and pollution, as plastic masks, gloves, and other PPE soar in demand. How can short term needs of using plastic protective gear for healthcare workers be balanced against their long-term environmental impact on the planet?
The pollution problem has grown even though recycling workers try to tackle plastic waste and pollution.
Kristin Hughes, director of the Global Plastic Action Partnership, said, they’ve seen worsening pollution with COVID-19, as “different national governments are also handling waste and plastic waste very differently. In Canada and United States, recycling is still being classified as an essential.”
She added, “In Indonesia alone, we’ve seen 63,000 workers laid off in just the recycling industry. So indeed, the [coronavirus] has brought with [it] a significant impact to our efforts to mitigate plastic waste and pollution.”