Increased use of single-use plastic products during pandemic
With the start of the COVID 19 pandemic in 2020 businesses and people have been using much more single-use (plastic) products than before.
As a result huge amounts of waste occurred and not all of it was disposed of in an environmentally safe way or even recycled.
Impacts of COVID-19 on single-use plastic in Europe
Due to restrictions restaurants and other food services offered their meals in single-use food containers, people were wearing single-use gloves and masks.
SINGLE-USE FACE MASKS
Due to the pandemic and the recommendations / requirements to wear a face mask the imports of masks into the EU has increased by more than 50% in 2020!
During the first COVID 19 wave from April to September 2020 the imports of single-use gloves to the EU member states increased by 80%!
SINGLE-USE FOOD PACKAGING
Though the consumption of “on-the-go” food and drinks may have decreasing during the pandemic catering businesses have shifted to take-away services and thus increasing their use of single-use packaging.
DUMPED PLASTIC POLLUTES ENVIRONMENT
As a result of the increased use of single-use plastic products, huge amounts of waste occurred and not all of it was disposed of in an environmentally safe way or even recycled.
You can still see a lot of this waste dumped in nature, littering streets, rivers, forests, beaches or in sea. When not disposed of in a safe way waste pollutes environments, oceans and threatens wildlife.
Reverting to single-use products for disease prevention is not necessary, as single-use products can often create a false sense of security.