Below is an excerpt from ISS ESG’s thought leadership paper “COVID-19 and the Incoming Tide of Plastic Waste.” The full paper is available for download from the Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) online library.
As governments around the world continue to grapple with the impacts of COVID-19 and the resources it demands, organizations across several regions are sounding the alarm regarding a major secondary impact of the pandemic: plastic waste.
From Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to disposable consumer goods, pandemic conditions have resulted in an exponential surge in plastic consumption coupled with an increased willingness on the part of governments to suspend or reverse restrictions on single-use plastic. Non-governmental organizations and community groups worldwide have reported that disposable plastic masks and gloves are washing up on beaches and impacting marine life, indicating that the threat is not a distant concern, but one that is already underway.
Hernando Cortina, Executive Director, Head of Index Strategy, ISS ESG
Nithya Iyer, Consultant, ISS ESG
Ronja Wöstheinrich, Senior Associate, ESG Ratings Methodology, ISS ESG