The coronavirus pandemic has set back efforts to combat plastic pollution, as environmentally conscious Bay Area residents are forced to abandon their good habits while efforts on the state level to reduce waste face an uncertain future.
People in San Francisco and elsewhere are being told to do the opposite of what’s been drilled into them for years. The word now is, don’t take reusable bags to the grocery store. Don’t bring refillable mugs or containers to coffee shops and restaurants. Buy prepackaged products, not food from the bins.
Those rules have increased plastic waste, stirred confusion and led to irritated posts on social media and neighborhood message boards.