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Has revived single-use plastics. Are they coming back

Our research team is studying how the cholera epidemic has changed methods of managing waste. The Plastic-Free July, An annual campaign that was launched in 2011, is an ideal occasion to look at the impact of single-use disposable plastics in COVID-19 and if efforts to reduce the use of these plastics can be put back in the right direction.

California prohibited single-use plastic bags in 2016. However, state officials revoked the ban during COVID-19 quarantines due to the fact that plastic was deemed to be more clean.

From initial plans to pandemic,

Through the decades prior to the year 2020, a number of U.S. cities and states were working to reduce the waste produced by single-use items like straws, utensils and straws, coffee cups, beverage bottles, and plastic bags. The policies varied but included the ban on Styrofoamplastic bags, and straws, as well as tax and fees for containers as well as cup cups.

Social standards concerning the disposal of plastics have changed dramatically over the last few years. Before COVID-19, “Bring your own” tote bags, cups, mugs, and other food-related items have become everyday items for a lot of consumers. Innovative startups that focus on the reusable foodware market comprise Vessel, which works with cafes, allowing customers to lease stainless steel mugs for the go, and DishCraft, which collects dirty dishes from dine-in establishments and food outlets, then cleans them using high-tech equipment and then returns them to reuse.

Before COVID-19 lockdowns started in March 2020 2020, the New Jersey senate adopted an act that would have made the state one of the first to ban single-use bags that are made of plastic or paper. Additionally, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall from New Mexico and U.S. Rep. Alan Lowenthal of California introduced the Break Free of Plastic Pollution Act. This first federal law restricts the usage of single-use disposable products.

COVID-19’s shutdowns have drastically altered the entire process. Within a couple of days, plastic bags returned to supermarkets in states where they recently stopped using the use of plastic bags. Even before the lockdowns came in place, cafes and restaurants began not accepting personal disposables like coffee mugs and switching to plastic lids and cups, straws, wrapped straws, and condiment containers.

At the end of June, states and cities had temporarily halted more than 50 single-use items reduction laws throughout the U.S. – mainly bans plastic bags. The pandemic also led to a surge in the need for single-use personal protection equipment, including Masks and gloves made of plastic. The items began to appear in municipal solid waste streams as well as were thrown out on the streets.

The plastic pandemic

As a result of the new law that bans disposable ma, many food stores and grocery stores have changed completely to disposable plates, bags, and cutlery. This has increased their operating expenses and further slashed their margins, which are already low.

Stores selling groceries have significantly increased the use of plastic bags. Households generate as much as 50 percent more waste per volume than they did before COVID-19. The reports from the community suggest that the waste streams that are generated contain more disposable items that are single-use.

Recycling companies have taken a stand on the negative effects of the increased use of single-use bags as well as more waste from homes. Workers in the waste industry are designated essential. They are in closed spaces that are shared with others. Even though the possibility of coronavirus’s surface spread isn’t a major risk, the virus has raised the dangers of person-to-person transmission within the waste industry.

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Jane S. King

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