Unless people store recyclable waste at home, it is highly likely that it will be sent to landfill, increasing its environmental impact.
The pandemic by COVID-19 will cause serious impact environmental, researchers from the University of Southampton in England warned.
The analysis, published by the academic site The Conversation, showed that half of all services in recycling of local authorities in the country have been halted or reduced since various activities were halted by the health crisis.
The researchers cautioned that unless people can and are prepared to safely store recyclable waste at home, they are most likely to be sent to landfill or incinerated, increasing their environmental impact.
It is also likely that the food waste have a greater impact on the environment as disrupted supply chains and import restrictions increase levels of food loss.
They pointed out that the groceries that were bought in panic and stored at the beginning of the crisis, have probably been thrown directly into the trash.
The specialists highlighted the need to move away from a “linear economy”, where products are eliminated at the end of their lives, and move to a “economy circular”Where all waste is recovered and returned to manufacturers as a resource.
The long-term disruption caused by this pandemic, and any major incidents in the future, pose a great threat to the sustainabilitythey stated.
Professor Ian Williams of the University of Southampton School of Engineering explained that “this pandemic is a wake-up call to governments and the waste sector to ensure that supply chains and recycling markets are diverse and resistant ”.
“The current waste management system will need to evolve to be resilient to the impacts of these rare and extreme global events to create a successful circular economy,” he said.
On the other hand, he pointed out that the increase in online purchases as a result of the store closings has led to warnings about the cardboard shortage As people receive more and more deliveries and cannot recycle boxes.
The specialist in Environmental Sciences added that it will be necessary to reduce the packaging single use only and introducing more deposit return schemes and compostable alternatives, and applying novel systems to allow better results would keep resources in the system longer.
Finally, the researcher considered that the economic stimulus packages that will come after this pandemic should be used to invest in technologies and systems that help build a more diverse and resilient circular economy.
With information from Notimex