The amount of plastic waste generated by the pandemic is often mentioned by the media, and you certainly don’t need to walk very far from home before you see discarded face masks and disposable gloves lying around on the pavement and in all other public areas. There is most definitely a problem.
The current situation should surely intensify our desire to solve the pre-existing issue of excessive use of plastics in society and our inability to dispose of them cleanly and at a speed which matches the speed of their creation. Burning plastics instead of recycling should no longer be seen as a solution.
Since the 1930s we have become used to using more and more plastic in the course of daily life, and are encouraged to do so by relentless advertising, especially on social media and in particular by the food and cosmetics industries. Light thrown on the disastrous consequences of this behaviour by prominent environmentalists doesn’t seem to be doing enough actually to change our ingrained habits. We say one thing, we do another.
So how can we encourage ourselves to change – really change?