The COVID-19 pandemic has created devastating setbacks for the environmental sector, including the movement to transition away from single-use plastics, improve our ability to collect and recycle plastic waste, and prevent plastic from leaking into our oceans and waterways.
On Wednesday, June 10, Coastal Cities Project Officer Taylor Cass Talbott joined environmental experts, researchers and practitioners during a virtual town hall, COVID-19 Plastic Pollution and the Green Recovery, organised by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
The challenges that have emerged for the global movement to combat plastic pollution and waste as a result of COVID-19 were among the topics explored during this one-hour virtual townhall. Other questions for discussion included:
- How are different players adapting their strategies in light of this new paradigm, and what are some examples of support and collaboration that can help us move forward together?
- How will things shift as we begin the journey towards recovery from the pandemic, and how do we work proactively now to ensure a green reset that allows a continued focus on mitigating plastic waste and pollution and that protects livelihoods in both the short and long term?
During this session, Taylor highlighted why waste pickers need to be included into more formal waste management systems as a way of protecting livelihoods, protecting the environment, and protecting workers and their communities from challenges associated with COVID-19.
- The Rt Hon. Zac Goldsmith, Minister, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs of the United Kingdom
- Kristin Hughes, Director, Global Plastic Action Partnership, World Economic Forum
- Audrey Choi, Chief Sustainability Officer, Morgan Stanley
- Chever Voltmer, Director of Plastics Initiatives, Ocean Conservancy
- Haley Lowry, Global Sustainability Director, Dow
- Karin Kemper, Global Environment Director, World Bank
- Maggie Buggie, Head of Services Strategy, SAP
- Rob Kaplan, CEO, Circulate Capital
- Surendra Patawari, Chairman, Gemini Corp
- Swietenia Puspa Lestari, Executive Director, Divers Clean Action
- Tom Szaky, CEO, TerraCycle / Loop Alliance