Pandemic Plastics

November 17, 2021

Pandemic Plastic, one of #COVIDActionCollab’s Impact Canvas is focused solely on comprehensively understanding and solving the PPE waste crisis through operational and advocacy means. The very material that has saved countless of our hardworking frontline healthcare workers has now added another risk related to its mistreatment and mishandling after use. Our solution to the PPE waste crisis is aimed at forming a permanent, multi-stakeholder beneficial solution.
Pandemic Plastic envisions a world where PPE usage is moderated, circular and policy-driven – which would accrue benefits not only to people and institutions using it but also to the planet which is already suffering from a stew of unwanted plastic.
We are addressing this through a three-pronged approach of:
  • Understanding the material we are working with
  • Mobilizing operational solutions to address the problem
  • Advocating and working with systems to address the problem at the source 
Pandemic Plastic set out with the intention to learn completely about the current COVID PPE crisis and has adopted the solution circle approach, which is a set of discussions that focus on the problem from multiple angles. Through three rigorous focus group solution circles, with eminent minds from the field of plastic, bio-waste management, polymer sciences, medicine, and policy, we concluded the three major issues faced by the world today with respect to PPE:
  • Overuse/ wasteful use of PPE
  • Dangers for people who handle PPE waste, particularly informal workers
  • Safe disposal (including incineration) of PPE and consequent problems
Pandemic Plastic, along with its research and design partner, Vihara Asia, worked on these problem statements in greater detail, which eventually led to a structured document containing current challenges, problems, solution avenues, and what is already being done to mitigate this crisis. This report gives a comprehensive view into what is and can be done in the space of COVID plastics, in a way that is mutually beneficial to people and the planet.


Protect 10 million most marginalized people from COVID-19

Swasti is actively partnering with grassroot organizations, coalitions of marginalized communities, community institutions, community health workers and champions as first responders; collaboratives like the #COVIDActionCollab, factories and others to reach the last mile on COVID risk assessment, Vaccine demand generation, Social Protection helpdesk & the Meal Box.

You can read the Pandemic Plastics learning document here.


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COVIDActionCollab is not merely an aggregation of partners, but is an aggregation of capacities, through which we have developed key high impact initiatives. We have drawn upon our one year’s experience at CAC and engagement with our large constituency of partners to put together a menu of initiatives for funders/investors to support which will save lives and livelihoods, and enable vulnerable communities to 'bounce forward’. Support these initiatives to build resilient communities