Prior to the emergence of the novel coronavirus outbreak, the recycled plastics industry had been making significant progress in its journey to end plastic waste. It was seeing positive results from high consumer and regulatory pressure on brands worldwide to improve their commitments to sustainability. Private companies, non-profit organisations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) were all campaigning actively to increase consumer awareness of recycling and sustainability across the value chain. The message was finally getting through at a basic level, setting the stage for a fundamental shift in public attitudes. For example, consumers began rejecting single-use plastics such as drinking cups, straws and cutlery when they purchased take-away food; some vendors even offered incentives to customers who brought their own cups.