DeShazo on Interrupted Efforts to Curb Plastic Waste

JR DeShazo, director of the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation, spoke to the Southern California News Group about the rising demand for plastics during the COVID-19 pandemic after years of efforts to curb their use. People ordering takeout food and deliveries of groceries and other goods are “much more likely to increase the amount of plastic that’s in their personal waste stream,” said DeShazo, lead author of a report on the impact of single-use utensils and other plastic waste. As one example, he said, “In the good old days I would have taken my reusable bags to Trader Joe’s and I would have bought a mango and brought that mango home in that reusable bag. Now that mango arrives wrapped in plastic and then wrapped again in a paper bag” — producing twice the amount of waste as before. DeShazo urged consumers to step up sustainable practices by recycling what they can, particularly glass and aluminum.


 

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