Plastic’s Resurgence Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

Picture of the Earth wearing a mask. Title: Plastic’s Resurgence Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic Author: Darius White
Volume LIV – Number 1
Darius White
Abstract: Plastic is the world’s primary defense against the spread of COVID-19 due to its disposability, versatility, and low-cost. Before the pandemic, there was growing international consensus regarding the mitigation of plastic waste, evidenced by the proliferation of plastic- related policies. The arrival of the pandemic, however, setback these efforts, causing delays, complications, and reversals to these policies. The oil industry hopes to capitalize on this increased reliance on plastic with their lobbying efforts against these policies being strengthened in the backdrop of the pandemic. Furthermore, record-low oil prices, triggered by the pandemic, have disrupted the recycling industry by making recycled plastic not viable when compared to virgin plastic. These developments are concerning considering that plastic consumption is exploding, waste management systems are crumbling, and plastic waste is being increasingly mismanaged.
KeywordsCOVID-19, Environmental Issues, Environmental Policy, Plastic, Waste Management
About the Author: Darius White is pursuing a B.S. in Political Science and Geography and Environmental Planning with a minor in Geographic Information Systems from Towson University. He transferred from the College of Southern Maryland with an A.A. in Liberal Arts and Sciences. He served as a staff member of The Towson Journal of International Affairs.
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