As per sources, this year was meant to mark a significant reduction in plastic all over the world. Two years ago, the UN declared plastic pollution as a global crisis. Countries and cities introduced new bans. Activists, scientists, environmentalists worked towards new environmental changes. Even the businesses molded their corporate strategies towards production of more reliable and reusable materials rather than plastic. However, the outbreak of the coronavirus in 2020, led to an imbalance in this noble plan. The Pandemic has surely reduced human interference in the environment and caused an accelerated healing of nature, resources and greens all around the globe, yet we have forgotten the horrible increase of plastic waste happening.As lockdown has shifted over the past few months, we may find that our reliance on plastic has increased. The speeding numbers of the positive cases have led to a tremendous pressure on the healthcare services and it has concluded on plastic use being the most reliable and affordable one as of now. Gloves, bottles of sanitizers, masks, and medical plastic waste has increased much more than before. Large number of this waste is unfit for recycling due to potential bio-hazards, especially the medical plastic waste can grow to unprecedented levels. As the countries are lifting the lockdown measures now, we will find that our reliance on plastic has actually increased like never before and this may cause environmental hazards to scale up than even before this pandemic. The danger will be all the way more heightened.
Even if we banned plastic altogether it would take around 20 years for a plastic grocery bag to decompose and about 450 years for a plastic bottle. Any measure would also vary greatly across the globe due to political, economic, divisional and time of implementation differences, whilst leaving the environment bear the brunt, as the economic forums say.We believe that it is our collective mission to encourage and participate in the development of the circular economy – which aims to eliminate waste through continual reuse of resources. Collective beginnings would help this approach as we believe that the plastic problem will not be easy to eradicate and will be a complex and long-term process. Each person’s contribution will matter, and the faster we apply this, the better can it complement the healing of the environment.