COVID-19 has been sweeping the world. The overall number of infected persons has been increased from 5 M in March 2020 to over 22 M in August 2020 and growing, which seems not to get its peak at the current stage. This has contributed to waste generation and different phases of challenges in waste management practices.
The impacts including change in waste amount, composition, timing/frequency (temporal), distribution (spatial) and risk, which affects the handling and treatment practices. Recent impacts, challenges and developments on waste management in the response of COVID-19 have been assessed in this update.
As much as 1.3 billion tons of food products are discarded per year over the globe, but in terms of waste rates, flower loss is now greater than food loss (A very deadly blow to the environment).
Increasing agricultural waste is one of the major problems of this epidemic. We have a good solution for agricultural waste management that can be implemented at all levels of agriculture.
it should be noted that although facing the same crisis, the situation, measures taken and effectiveness in each region can be attentively diverse. The countries and their governments reacted in various ways and timing to adopt restrictive measures – from very strict closure to mild suggestions.
Structural changes and the other indirect impacts:
The other impacts of COVID-19 include the energy sector (Abu-Rayash and Dincer, 2020) and supply chains or trading networks. The energy demand and price etc. would indirectly affect the feasibility of waste to energy recovery. The PPE supply chain bottlenecks (ADB, 2020b) due to the spike in demand, trade restrictions, shortage of materials (distribution of supplier and manufacturing in different countries) could probably attract the attention of policymaker to seek for a future solution, in the post-pandemic period.
However, it highly depends on the priority in the post-COVID-19 economy. For example, the implementation of recycling would be more challenging if the incentives for green initiatives are reduced in the post-COVID-19 economy. An issue is that legislations can be politically driven and may be difficult to change. On the contrary, emergency situations can accelerate revisions of flawed regulations.