COVID-19 and the Incoming Tide of Plastic Waste

COVID-19 and the Incoming Tide of Plastic Waste

AUGUST 13, 2020

As governments around the world continue to grapple with the impacts of COVID-19 and the resources it demands, organizations across several regions are sounding the alarm regarding a major secondary impact of the pandemic: plastic waste.

From Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to disposable consumer goods, pandemic conditions have resulted in an exponential surge in plastic consumption coupled with an increased willingness on the part of governments to suspend or reverse restrictions on single-use plastic. Non-governmental organizations and community groups worldwide have reported that disposable plastic masks and gloves are washing up on beaches and impacting marine life, indicating that the threat is not a distant concern, but one that is already underway.

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