30 March 2020
The coronavirus can survive several days on hard surfaces such as plastic and stainless steel. In the air, that’s three hours. This result of recent laboratory research raises the question of how to handle plastic packaging to prevent contamination.
American laboratory research has shown that the coronavirus can survive up to 72 hours on plastic and metal. This means that you can become infected if, for example, you touch a steel rod on the bus or something made of plastic.
THREE WAYS TO PREVENT INFECTION
Suppose something is delivered to you in a plastic wrapper. What do you have to do to make sure you are not infected by that packaging? There are basically three ways:
– Take the contents out of the packaging and wash your hands;
– Clean the packaging with disinfectant soap and hot water;
– Wait three days before touching the package.
QUESTIONS ABOUT SAFETY SINGLE-USE PLASTIC PACKAGING AND REUSE
Not only on plastic but on all packaging, the virus appears to be able to survive for a while. According to the research, this is a maximum of 24 hours for cardboard and 4 hours for copper. After just a few hours, the effectiveness of the virus decreases significantly.
Single-use plastic is no safer or unsafe than plastic that is used more than once. You can continue to use your own cups and trays, as long as you wash them well. Read more about this in this article by Upstream.
PLASTICS INDUSTRY TAKES ADVANTAGE OF THE CRISIS
The lobby of the American plastics industry, the Plastics Industry Association, claims that the use of disposable packaging plastic is safer for our health. The Plastics Industry Association requested in a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Social Affairs last week to emphasize this alleged safety in a public statement. Furthermore, the lobbying organization has asked the ministry to speak out against the ban on single-use plastic products (such as bags or straws).
Plastic producers are beginning to be affected by the measures aimed at restricting the use of disposable plastic; sales figures are under increasing pressure. In the United States, these measures are often implemented by municipalities. It seems that the plastics industry is taking advantage of the corona crisis to get all these measures off the table. Read Upstream’s response to this example of blatant lobbying in difficult times for all of us.