Due to COVID-19, recycling programs in many bigger cities have ceased. Because the recycling process is hands-on and involves multiple processing steps, many recycling centers have either shutdown or significantly reduced operations to avoid cross-contamination cases. But with pollution already being one of the most pressing public concerns of this century, reductions in recycling are deeply problematic.
Unfortunately, recycling programs are not the only ecologically-friendly options that have been disrupted by COVID-19, as Bloomberg News reported in March 2020. Companies such as Starbucks have stopped accepting their reusable cups, and many grocery stores have stopped allowing customers to use their own eco-friendly shopping bags. Furthermore, medical waste is also on the increase, including at minimum all of the extra masks and gloves used every day as personal by health care providers as personal protective equipment.
Source: “The Unexpected Environmental Consequences of Covid-19,” Bloomberg News, www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-30/the-unexpected-environmental-consequences-of-covid-19.
Student Researcher: Jolie Collette (Indian River State College)
Faculty Evaluator: Elliot D. Cohen (Indian River State College)