How plastic pollution is getting worse with COVID-19 crisis and what can we do about it?

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In the past months, we’ve all seen nature flourishing, bouncing back and rebonding.
The environmental changes were first visible from space and as the lockdown got more stringent- it could be sensed in the sky above our heads, the air in our lungs and the ground beneath our feet.

From roads all cleaned up to closed factories, dozens of countries are experiencing a significant decrease in carbon dioxide and nitrogen levels in the atmosphere.

After decades of relentless trials and tribulations, the human footprint on earth has suddenly eased. For many of us, this is a glimpse of what the world might look like if it was in healthier, more responsible and greener hands.

All that being said, there is still the issue of ‘plastic use’ that is now more persistent than ever.

All the single-use masks, plastic gloves, PPE kits may seem necessary and requisite to prevent further Coronavirus exposure. But if 1% of all these 10 million single use products were dumped carelessly, nature would return to the ‘havoc state’ it was or may even get worse. On top of which, many members of the plastic producing industry are taking advantage of our current fear induced state.

Asking for rollbacks of hard-won environmental measures, they’re accounting ‘the everyday cautionary tales’ to sway the public into and reinstating the widespread use of single-use plastics.

While on a deeper inspection it may be found that coronavirus lives on plastic for as long as 2-3 days.

Additionally, the current crisis has also narrowed down means or opportunity for recycling, which means that the extra plastic being used and consumed during the current crisis might not get effectively managed.

We must be aware that plastic bags have been the most persistent issue for the decreasing quality of ocean levels, dying marine life and disbalanced ecosystem.

If the temporary push backs were to be prolonged much longer than actually required, it could easily undermine the efforts to ban ‘usage and disposal of plastics’ and cause lasting damage for decades to come.

While there are no doubts that our frontline workers need proper protection and medical equipment to keep battling this pandemic, there is one pandemic we cannot simply turn blind eye to, a pandemic raging for years – environmental pollution.