What the Pandemic Means for Single-Use Plastics

Illustration by Muskaan Gupta

The Sustainability Crisis

For those of us trying to reduce our waste, we now see our cupboards piling with sanitizers, wipes, takeaway food containers — all plastic. While this recent surge is understandable as concerns about health and safety loom large, it is concerning from an environmental perspective.

The Polystyrene Pickle

Photo by Jasmin Sessler on Unsplash

Is it Really That Bad?

What does this renewed love for plastics mean for the future of sustainability? Well, truth be told, one can’t say for sure. It is quite likely that, once the pandemic subsides or is under some control, plastics may soon be forgotten. The problem is that adopting a sustainable lifestyle involves changing many habits. Returning to plastics isn’t ideal — especially for those starting out their sustainability journey.

Here’s What You Can Do

As we adjust to the next normal, there is still a lot that we can do to ensure that we produce less waste.

A helpful video on the Centre for Disease Control’s YouTube channel with Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams demonstrating how you can make cloth masks from old t-shirts.
  1. Wash your hands before putting your mask on.
  2. Be sure to properly cover your nose and mouth completely with the mask.
  3. When removing the mask, remove it from your ears first and avoid touching the mask from any other place.
  4. Wash the mask in hot water with detergent.
Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash

In these difficult times, we are caught somewhere between being indulgent and being cautious. Let’s be both, but not forget the bigger picture: we are still at war with single-use plastics, and we still have a long way to go and every individual has a contribution to make.



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