The Plastic Waste Challenge in a Post COVID-19 World:

A Circular Approach to Sustainability

Authors: Nicola De Blasio and Phoebe Fallon

February 2022


This paper analyzes how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the world's quest for sustainability by focusing on the plastic industry. There is no doubt that plastic has molded society in many ways that make our lives easier and safer, but it has also created a global environmental and sustainability crisis. To curb our addiction to plastic, the world had been trying to move away from virgin plastic, but the pandemic has turned an enemy into a much-needed ally.

We use a mixed-methods approach of surveys, empirical analysis, and literature review to answer a fundamental question: How can we leverage the advantages of plastic without contributing to the world’s environmental crisis? This dilemma poses a significant challenge but also opens an opportunity to address sustainability at a systemic level through circularity and the transition to low-carbon alternatives to petroleum-based plastics.

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For Academic Citation: De Blasio, N., and Fallon, P. (2022). “The Plastic Waste Challenge in a Post COVID-19 World: A Circular Approach to Sustainability,” Journal of Self-Governance andManagement Economics 10(1): 7–29. doi:10.22381/jsme10120221.


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