Not if we don’t let it.
Many people and businesses have worked tirelessly over the years to create and adopt solutions to single-use plastics.
- Stainless steel straws
- Reusable Coffee Mugs
- Produce Bags
- Shampoo bars
- Refill Shops
Companies like Starbucks and Bulk Barn even followed the trends, offering options for customers to bring their own containers or mugs.
There’s clearly a demand for products that don’t cause harm to our planet.
Now, health concerns are top of mind – a potential blow to the progress made in the zero-waste and plastic free movements. The COVID-19 global pandemic has the potential to reverse our thinking – and might cause more environmental damage with single-use plastics than we’ve ever seen before. We’ve already seen reversals in thinking with Bulk Barn and Starbucks – and it could happen more rapidly.
But not so fast!
Before throwing out your reusable bags and switching back to single use plastics, let’s make sure you think it through.
This this virus doesn’t discriminate against people- and it certainly doesn’t discriminate against the type of material it decides to live on.
It can live on cardboard, steel, and YES : it can certainly live on a single-use plastic item.
New England Journal of Medicine published an article in March 2020 that cited that COVID-19 can live on stainless steel and plastic for up to 3 days and on cardboard for 1 day.
The bottom line: Your best fight against COVID -19 is to sanitize ALL product surfaces. You should be just as concerned with sanitizing a single-use plastic container as you are with your reusable product.
You may be guilty of not washing your reusable products as often as you should, but this likely happened long before COVID-19 existed. This is something we encourage you to do – all the time – and more diligently even now.
But let us be clear: there is certainly no reason to give up your zero-waste or plastic-free efforts.
We encourage everyone to practice extra caution in sanitizing products – whether they are reusable or not.