Most years the arrival of Earth Day would bring with it a series of sustainability-themed news releases.
For 2020, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, things were a bit more complicated.
Rather than "here's how we're reducing our single-use plastics" stories, it was more about "here's how we're making gowns/masks/shields for health care workers so they don't have to reuse these items."
Not that those angles on reducing plastics waste are being completely forgotten, but it seems that during a pandemic things are a little more complicated.
Consider the regions that are curtailing recycling collections or — as in my state of Michigan — putting a temporary hold on bottle return programs to help reduce exposure to the coronavirus by retail workers.
As Steve Toloken notes, the National Association for PET Container Resources and three other industry associations have issued a statement asking state governments to make safe redemption and return options available again as soon as possible, so recyclers do not miss out on the stream of PET bottles collected through the programs.