Experts remind the public that reusables are safe to use during COVID-19

As a response to the COVID-19 outbreak, many states and countries have reversed the course of their efforts to reduce the ubiquity of single-use plastic. Some cafes have stopped offering drinks in reusable cups, while the plastic industry has also been busy promoting throwaway plastics by interfering with environment-conscious policies, such as bans on plastic bags.

Amid fears that efforts to close the tap on single-use plastic pollution are losing ground over fears of virus contamination, more than 100 scientists have recently published a statement reassuring the public that reusable packaging is safe during the pandemic.

The statement was signed by 119 scientists from 18 different countries, and among its signatories are epidemiologists, virologists, biologists, chemists and doctors, who all agree that the best available science and guidance from public health professionals says reusable cups, bags and containers are perfectly safe to use, as long as they are regularly washed with hot water and detergent or soap.

“Single-use plastic is not inherently safer than reusables, and causes additional public health concerns once it is discarded,” the statement warns. In fact, as Greenpeace USA global project leader Graham Forbes notes, it is actually “crucial for businesses and governments to know that as they reopen, reusable systems can be deployed safely to protect both our environment and workers and customers.”

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Experts remind the public that reusables are safe to use during COVID-19

As a response to the COVID-19 outbreak, many states and countries have reversed the course of their efforts to reduce the ubiquity of single-use plastic. Some cafes have stopped offering drinks in reusable cups, while the plastic industry has also been busy promoting throwaway plastics by interfering with environment-conscious policies, such as bans on plastic bags.

Amid fears that efforts to close the tap on single-use plastic pollution are losing ground over fears of virus contamination, more than 100 scientists have recently published a statement reassuring the public that reusable packaging is safe during the pandemic.

The statement was signed by 119 scientists from 18 different countries, and among its signatories are epidemiologists, virologists, biologists, chemists and doctors, who all agree that the best available science and guidance from public health professionals says reusable cups, bags and containers are perfectly safe to use, as long as they are regularly washed with hot water and detergent or soap.

“Single-use plastic is not inherently safer than reusables, and causes additional public health concerns once it is discarded,” the statement warns. In fact, as Greenpeace USA global project leader Graham Forbes notes, it is actually “crucial for businesses and governments to know that as they reopen, reusable systems can be deployed safely to protect both our environment and workers and customers.”

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