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Plastic Pollution During The Pandemic: Reusables Are Safe To Use Again

Plastic Free July has nearly come to an end, but that doesn’t mean you need to stop what you’ve started! 

This PFJ has been different from years past in so many ways. For starters, we’re living in the midst of a pandemic and plastic seems to be everywhere. Don’t let this discourage you! We have some good news: reusables are safe to use during the Covid-19 pandemic. That’s right, your reusable bag and cup can get back to work!  

At the end of June, more than 100 scientists published a statement saying reusables are safe to use during the pandemic as long as basic hygiene measures are taken into account. 

Covid-19 is primarily spread through the air, rather than through contact with surfaces, meaning reusables are safe when taking precautions like washing reusables thoroughly with hot water and soap, washing your hands, and avoiding touching your eyes, mouth or nose, the scientists said. 

“I feel it is vitally important that we do not let the impact Covid-19 has had on human health be used as an excuse to further damage the health of our planet,” said Dr. Jennifer Cole, who signed the statement. 

Instead of contributing to the plastic pollution problem, be a part of the solution. Here are three easy ways you can say no to single-use plastic during the pandemic: 

  1. Wear a reusable face mask instead of a disposable one. Warnings that Covid-19 could result in more masks than jellyfish in the ocean made international headlines in June. 
  2. Refuse single-use bags when checking out at the grocery store. If you have a car, you can place your groceries in reusable bags when you get to the car. If you live in a city and walk to the store, ask if they’ll allow you to use your reusable bag again! 
  3. Bring your FinalStraw or BiggieStraw with you if you are working back at the office or picking up a coffee. You know exactly how your reusable straw was washed and you’re the only one that has touched it, making it the most sanitary option of all! 

While single-use plastic may have seen an uptick during the pandemic, the pandemic should not define how we treat the planet. We don’t need one person living a zero-waste lifestyle perfectly, we need millions of people doing it imperfectly.


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