Scientists continue to research the environmental impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic as the world prepares to celebrate Earth Day.
UC Riverside Assistant Professor Cesunica Ivey told "In Focus SoCal" host Tanya McRae that the pandemic shutdown and slowdown in human activity helped reduce air pollution in Southern California last spring.
"We saw an abrupt decline in traffic-related pollutants in March, later in March and April, and we saw a steady increase in pollution as people returned to their normal activities toward June, July and later into the summer," Ivey said. "I would like to say that we did not return to normal traffic volumes, and therefore, those traffic-related pollutants also did not return to normal levels."
The surge in takeout during the pandemic made Huntington Beach encourage businesses to use eco-friendly packaging, Mayor Kim Carr explained. She detailed how the city has been keeping its streets safe amid the pandemic.
"We also ramped up our cleaning crews to make sure that we didn't have any trash on the ground or that our trash bins were not overflowing because we know whatever lands on the ground is going to end up on the beach," Carr said.
A visit to the Burbank Recycling Center with Amy Hammes, the city's recycling specialist, reveals the items that have been arriving in bulk since the pandemic started and as online shopping soared.
"Cardboard, definitely, then you'll have lots of plastic, what we call plastic film, but things like your grocery bags, your overlays for products, and the shipping contents as well, is something that's been huge," Hammes said.
And finally, Ventura County Supervisor Carmen Ramirez discusses an upcoming Earth Day tech drive in Oxnard.
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