By James Greetham, Managing Director & Founder, Sprung Collective
There has never been a better time to address the environmental impact that this Global pandemic has had on our use of disposables and single use plastics.
Without doubt plastic products have played significant roles in protecting people during the COVID-19 pandemic and without them the world would be in a much worse off situation than it is now. However, the side effect is that millions of discarded single-use plastics (masks, gloves, aprons, and bottles of sanitizers) have been added to the global environment and has caused a surge in plastics washing up the ocean coastlines and littering the seabed.
The amount of plastic wastes generated worldwide since the outbreak is estimated at 1.6 million tonnes a day and it’s estimated that approximately 3.4 billion single-use facemasks are discarded daily because of COVID-19 pandemic, globally.
This clearly indicates that COVID-19 will reverse the momentum of years-long global battle to reduce plastic waste pollution and the good work many hospitality and restaurant businesses have achieved over the years in getting customers to embrace the use of keep cups, paper straw, plastic bag tax and the general reduction in single use packaging.
The question comes as governments are looking to turbo-charge the economy by supporting businesses weather the pandemic, is there is an opportunity to rebuild new industries that can innovate new reusable or non-plastic PPE to more than just washable masks in the same way the hospitality industry changed how people viewed reusable cups, water bottles and disposables in general?