ENVIRONMENTAL CHOICES VS. COVID-19 PANDEMIC FEAR – PLASTIC GOVERNANCE RE-ASSESSMENT

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MAŁGORZATA GRODZIŃSKA-JURCZAK
ALEKSANDRA KRAWCZYK
ANNA JURCZAK
MARIANNA STRZELECKA
MARCIN RECHCIŃSKI
MARIUSZ BOĆKOWSKI

Abstract

Alarming plastic production growth worldwide reinforces the public debate about the prevailing environmental crisis, whereby single-use-plastic (SUP) items are considered as by far the most harmful to the environment and public health. Accordingly, European environmental policy aims at eliminating SUP. Recently, we presented a model of plastic governance that derives from a circular economy approach identifying and taking into consideration perspectives of different actors in the plastic governance, such as producers, wholesalers, shop keepers, consumers, citizen scientists, and academia. Our results illustrate that the vast majority of stakeholders cared for the natural environment and understood the need to phase out SUP from the global economy. We proposed that a knowledge brokerage, undertaken by scientists via means of citizen science, as the most effective method to implement elimination policy, as it provides stakeholders with knowledge on why and how to handle SUP issues. However, at the time of the global COVID-19 pandemic, a plastic governance model required a re-assessment. The perceived role of SUP has changed, as it reflects the health emergency. Namely, due to the health safety reasons stakeholders and consumers are requesting even more SUP than previously. Following up on our data gathered prior to the pandemic, we suggest that under the new circumstances health concerns outweigh the environmental concerns being determined by a shift in the value hierarchization. The paper discusses preliminary results.

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GRODZIŃSKA-JURCZAK, M., KRAWCZYK, A., JURCZAK, A., STRZELECKA, M., RECHCIŃSKI, M., & BOĆKOWSKI, M. (2020). ENVIRONMENTAL CHOICES VS. COVID-19 PANDEMIC FEAR – PLASTIC GOVERNANCE RE-ASSESSMENT. Society Register, 4(2), 49-66. https://doi.org/10.14746/sr.2020.4.2.04
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Articles
Author Biographies

MAŁGORZATA GRODZIŃSKA-JURCZAK, Jagiellonian University

Małgorzata Grodzińska-Jurczak, a professor of biology currently works on the social determinants of nature protection, science communication and citizen science. She broadly publishes, teaches in and outside university as well as popularizes results of her studies. An important perspective of her work is popularising environment-related knowledge.

ALEKSANDRA KRAWCZYK, Jagiellonian University

Aleksandra Krawczyk, her professional experience is linked to the development of successful communication strategies and implementation of marketing methods in various industries up to sustainable development aid in the NGO sector. Currently, Aleksandra studies at the Doctoral School of Social Sciences, Jagiellonian University and focuses on socio-psychological and behavioral aspects of the European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy.

ANNA JURCZAK, Jagiellonian University

Anna Jurczak, studies Psychology at the Jagiellonian University. She is interested in the cognitive-social correlates of human behaviour, and animal-assisted therapy (kinesiotherapy). Anna often gets involved in psychology-based research and social campaigns. She cannot remain indifferent to the changes taking place in our environment, which is why she actively takes part in eco projects too.

MARIANNA STRZELECKA, Linnaeus University

Marianna Strzelecka, a researcher and lecturer in tourism studies at Linnaeus University in Sweden, is broadly interested in resident perceptions of and attitudes towards institutionalized nature protection in rural nature-tourism destinations (primarily of Central and Eastern Europe). She is particularly interested in concepts such as sense of justice, institutional trust, environmental identity, and place attachment and nature connectedness in the aforementioned context.

MARCIN RECHCIŃSKI, Jagiellonian University

Marcin Rechciński, a geographer, working primarily on social aspects of nature conservation. His PhD project is focused on conflicts around protected areas, contributing to current theories of nature conservation. Moreover, he develops various applications of participatory mapping in a context of nature conservation. He teaches mostly environmental conditions of spatial planning. Head of the two research projects of National Science Centre, Poland.

MARIUSZ BOĆKOWSKI, Jagiellonian University

Mariusz Boćkowski, MSc in environmental protection (environmental biology). He has multiple professional experience in the NGO sector related to nature conservation and now is working back in academia dealing with social and economic aspects of nature conservation. Presently he conducts PhD research on the use of the concept of ecosystem services in nature governance with focus on creation and management of national parks.

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