Sustainable management of plastic wastes in COVID-19 pandemic: The biochar solution

Avanthi D. Igalavithana, Xiangzhou Yuan, Chammi P. Attanayake, Shujun Wang, Siming You, Daniel C.W. Tsang, Ange Nzihou, Yong Sik Ok

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


To prevent the COVID-19 transmission, personal protective equipment (PPE) and packaging materials have been extensively used but often managed inappropriately, generating huge amount of plastic waste. In this review, we comprehensively discussed the plastic products utilized and the types and amounts of plastic waste generated since the outbreak of COVID-19, and reviewed the potential treatments for these plastic wastes. Upcycling of plastic waste into biochar was addressed from the perspectives of both environmental protection and practical applications, which can be verified as promising materials for environmental protections and energy storages. Moreover, novel upcycling of plastic waste into biochar is beneficial to mitigate the ubiquitous plastic pollution, avoiding harmful impacts on human and ecosystem through direct and indirect micro-/nano-plastic transmission routes, and achieving the sustainable plastic waste management for value-added products, simultaneously. This suggests that the plastic waste could be treated as a valuable resource in an advanced and green manner.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113495
JournalEnvironmental Research
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • Circular economy
  • Engineered biochar
  • Environmental protection
  • Plastic pollution
  • Sustainable waste management
  • Upcycling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • General Environmental Science


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