Takeout during the Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the prevalent plastic problem.
Eight million metric tons of plastic waste pollute the oceans every year. Additionally, most plastics are not biodegradable, allowing them to hang around our environment for hundreds of years, and plastic is extremely difficult to recycle. Before the coronavirus outbreak, there was impactful progress towards shifting away from single-use plastic. But now, plastic usage has skyrocketed during the ongoing pandemic.
Coming from a family that relies on the success of the restaurant industry as our source of income, I understand that takeout has been the saving grace for many restaurants that cannot afford to close any longer. Customers and restaurants have become heavily dependent on single-use plastic bags, containers, and utensils due to health concerns. However, the packaging of such orders have only contributed to the growing heap of single-use plastic globally, along with the billions of face masks. While the fears prompted by the virus are still valid, it is important that we continue to stay aware of our decisions, whether we are the consumer or the restaurant.