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Are We Heading Back Towards Single-Use Plastic Because Of Coronavirus

The battle against plastic pollution has rapidly gained momentum in recent years. Our 2018 report – Plastics phase-out: Exposure through the value chain – analysed the challenges across sectors beyond the use of carrier bags, microbeads and straws. We concluded that the issue was not just a point of public concern but either an opportunity for forward-thinking companies or a threat to business profitability.

The over-riding priorities of the Covid-19 crisis have, at least in the short term, constrained efforts to tackle the challenge, both from a corporate prioritisation and from a hygiene perspective.

But in the long term, a circular economy for plastics is inevitable. This means not simply making, using and disposing of plastic, but removing unnecessary plastic, making innovative products and circulating items back into use.

We have identified 60 new regulations attempting to tackle single-use plastic. We’ve had discussions with more than 100 companies about their commitments and responses to increasing regulation.

We believe the recent reversal of progress is a blip. As our latest report on progress – Forging a new future for problematic plastic: Are companies prepared? – shows, businesses need to urgently ramp up disclosure, ambition and action. Read more…