The world was already dealing with the plastic garbage that is piling up in different ways and is polluting the land. But the coronavirus pandemic has made things worse as the plastic waste has increased. The concern has been rising in Europe as the demand for the recycled plastic has gone down drastically. The information on how the pandemic has affected the amount of trash piling up in the European Union is still patchy.
Due to the lockdown sitation across the globe, there has been a drop in the demand for fossil fuels. The oil prices have gone down this year and the virgin plastics have become cheaper than the recycled version of plastic. The current situation could threat the plans of EU to improve the recycling rates. EU alone generates 26 million tonnes of plastic waste every year. Sadly only 30 percent of it is recycled. Virjinijus Sinkevicius, the EU Environment Commissioner while talking to Reuters said that they are concerned due to the possible disruption of the markets for recycled plastic that is caused by the low prices of crude oil. The Environment commissioner added that they are also concerned about the littering of disposable masks.
Sinkevicius has also said that in the current situation, they do not have ample data that could be used to conclude on the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the plastic waste generation, sorting, separate collection, recycling or littering. The plastic recycling plants across the Europe were forced to curb operations during the pandemic while some have said that the demand has gone down drastically as the clients have delayed their respective green goals due to the coronavirus pandemic.
As a part of some measures, the EU is planning to ban some of the single-use plastics by 2021 and the EU leaders had also agreed to introduce a bloc-wide tax on non- recyclable packaging waste that will help to raise funds for the recovery of Europe’s economic chaos that has been brought by the virus.
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