Well before the pandemic, Big Oil had pumped billions of dollars into plastics manufacturing. Faced with more competition from renewable energy sources and dwindling demand for its products, the industry hopes to make up for these losses by pushing more plastic (which is made from fossil fuels). And now, even lower demand for fossil fuels due to the pandemic—travel has ground to a halt, for example—will make plastics appear more attractive to Chevron et al.
Meanwhile, the plastics industry has been busily trying to convince the public that plastic is safer than disposables and has lobbied governments to overturn plastic bag bans. In reality, Covid-19 lives longer on plastic (up to 72 hours) than other materials, such as cardboard (up to 24 hours).
Although we may not be able to shop exactly as we used to, we can still reduce our plastic footprint in many ways. Also, keep in mind that zero-waste living goes beyond the plastic packaging. It’s a whole lifestyle—a package deal. Do your best and don’t feel guilty about things you can’t control.
Link in profile for my latest blog post “12 Ways to Fight the Pandemic Plastic Push.”