The current world pandemic will not leave anytime soon and nothing will be the same as it was before. We must learn to live with this virus, at least until a vaccine is developed and approved. But until then, many countries have imposed lockdown measures to stop its spread. People were allowed to go out of their homes only for short walks or shopping, which increased the number of online orders.
Not being able to go out of your house means that you need to find other ways to satisfy your needs. Delivery companies were among the fewest positively affected by this coronavirus. But while many people see this as a nice and comfortable thing, it has negative effects on the environment.
Yes, the greenhouse gas emissions have dropped during lockdown months. Nature seemed to come back to life in places where it was long gone. And all this because people were no longer there.
There Is More Trash
As people were forced to spend some months locked in their houses, the amount of trash they produced has increased. According to an expert essay writer, it has been observed an increase in specific types of trash people produce.
Taking into consideration that people mostly ordered food, groceries, devices, and so on online, they came packaged separately. And while some manufacturers deliver their products in sustainable and eco-friendly packages, most of them do not. So, “delivery trash” has increased drastically.
Also, people consumed more. They ate more, they drank more, and so the plastic and glass trash increased considerably. The amount of trash that comes from households increased by 20% during lockdown months.
There is a bad and good part of this. If there is more trash, it means people consume and buy more. And so, the demand for single-use plastics, plastic bottles, cardboard boxes, and so on is increasing. This does not do any good to our environment, as we need to constantly try to reduce our plastic consumption. Do not forget that plastic pollution is negatively contributing to climate change and it affects the wildlife and us in the same way. We are less healthy.
The good part mostly concerns businesses that base their products on recycled items, such as factories that produce toilet paper, have more materials to recycle and reuse.
But Less Recyclable Items
The coronavirus pandemic took a toll on our societies. Many people lost their jobs and many businesses went bankrupt. Those businesses that are no longer operating were important providers of recyclable materials for other factories that needed them.
For example, take into consideration restaurants, bars, movie theatres, and so on. People were drinking beverages there, and they were collecting the waste. Not many people know, but there are a lot of businesses that selectively collected their waste and then chose to recycle it, to save the environment.
And many more businesses depend on recycling to function, and now everything is brought to a halt. The amount of recyclable plastics, glass, and paper has reduced drastically during and after lockdown. And businesses which based solely on commercial sources of recyclables were forced to close.
Shifting to Household Waste
So, the only solution is to shift to collecting household waste, as this is one of the main sources of recyclables at the moment. But at the same time, the recycling industry should prepare to launch new and innovative campaigns aimed to reduce plastic pollution and educate people.
Face masks and gloves are indispensable items that prevent the spread of the virus. They need to be changed constantly, and because people do not know what to do with them, they end up in nature, trees, flowers, rivers, and oceans.
Even though face masks cannot be recycled, as they need to be treated as a waste to stop the possible spread of bacteria and viruses, people should be educated on what to do with them. They are regularly left in spaces where people are living. And worst of them, they seem to be just like plastic bottles: everywhere. You can find them in nature and the most secluded places where you thought no one was.
The recycling industry should make some changes, both in their public campaigns and collecting recyclable materials.
But Are All These Good or Bad Changes?
Well, they are good in the short-term. But this is only because many businesses that were waste and recyclables providers shut down. At the same time, it increased the personal use of plastics, and people lack the education and information necessary to know how to dispose of specific items.
And so, they end up on our landfills and our surroundings, threatening to suffocate people and wildlife. Even though during lockdown nature began to regain its rights, as measures are eased by governments, the greenhouse gas emissions, pollution, and fossil fuel consumption begin to rise again.
The recycling industry goes through a difficult period where they need to rethink and adapt their strategy. Many businesses closed, and so others from the recycling industry that depended on them were forced to shut down. Now they need to shift to household waste management, as it increased during the lockdown.
At the same time, the problems with the huge amount of plastic in our oceans and nature were not solved. The recycling industry should change their approach and design campaigns aimed to increase public awareness about climate and recycling issues.
The development of the recycling industry during the world pandemic has been slow. And if it was one of the industries which were struggling before the pandemic too, now it is struggling more to survive.
Author Bio: Leon Collier is a blogger and writer from the UK, who loves to offer assignment help at a custom essay service. He likes writing about everything: climate change, history, travel, self-development, education, recycling. When not writing, you can find him reading or playing tabletop games with his friends. Follow him on Twitter @LeonCollier12