Plastics in the Time of Pandemic

In the age of the COVID-19 pandemic, single-use plastics became associated with safety from sickness and many states suspended legislative proposals to ban different types of plastics. As states have started to reopen and allow dine-in service, the conversation has shifted to whether restaurants should use disposable plates and cutlery, items not often accepted by many recycling programs. POLITICO asked a group of sustainability experts about the impact of using more plastic during the pandemic and how recycling should be funded in the U.S. David Tulauskas, Chief Sustainability Officer of Nestlé Waters North America, weighed in on the issue. “This increases the urgency in upgrading our recycling infrastructure to be able to process harder-to-recycle materials like flexible plastic films, which includes dry cleaning bags, plastic bags and the plastic wrap used for paper towels and toilet paper,” he says. “To make large-scale changes, everyone has a role to play in reducing waste and creating circular economies.”

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