In last month’s article, I cited some examples of how the coronavirus pandemic has altered recycling attitudes, business practices, and environmentally-friendly disposal opportunities. In two recent publications, staff writers have further described how the virus has compounded the problems presented by plastics in ways that were not foreseen.

In the June 13 edition of the Los Angeles Times, foreign correspondent Shashank Bengali described the astonishment experienced by environmental activist Gary Stokes when he visited a deserted beach and found amid the usual piles of plastic waste, “a new type of non-biodegradable garbage washing ashore: masks. Dozens and dozens of disposable masks.”

Judie Butterfield is chairman of the borough’s Recycling Committee and can be reached at 717-337-0724 or

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