By: Anna Eccleton
Summary: For years people have been fighting to get plastics banned. Several states have enforced laws that prohibit the use of plastic bags in stores, but currently that action is being put on hold. Plastic companies are claiming that it is unsanitary to be using reusable bags in this time of crisis and that they carry germs on them. Major coffeeshops, like Starbucks are no longer allowing customers to use their reusable cups. While this is all said to be temporary, many are worried that the policies that were put in place for plastics will not be reinstated. New York is one of these states who was just about to implement a policy on plastic bags. Another state affected was Maine. Maine was about to begin the plastic bag ban, but then pushed it back to next year.
According to Leslie Kaufman at Bloomberg.com, “researchers found the greatest spikes in demand for face masks and the thin film used in plastic wraps.” (Kaufman). More people are also drinking from plastic water bottles, because the idea of refilling them at a drinking fountain makes them nervous of the germs that could be on them. When the lockdown first was implemented, people rushed to stock up on cases of water. The thought of reusable bottles took a backseat to fear. Everyone must keep in mind, that while plastic companies are insisting this will not affect us in the long term, no one knows what the future holds. All of the work that we have done to limit the use of plastics has gone out the window.
Why we should care? I believe we should care about this topic because it affects us directly. Thinking about how many plastic bags are being use daily due to the rushes at the grocery stores blows my mind. The amount of people who go through a drive through and now have to use plastic cups instead of their own reusable ones also makes me think. While some say this is not going to significantly affect us and that after this is over we’ll go back to how we were, I don’t know if I believe that. No one knows how long this virus spread is going to last. It could be weeks, or even months.
Example News Article:
I found this article interesting because it explains both sides. It provides valid points to both sides of the argument. It does a good job of explaining the different bans being lifted, and the reasons behind it. It gives perspectives as to why we would be using more plastics during this time, but doesn’t necessarily encourage it.
Science in Action.
Dr. Amanda Mae Simanek is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the
School Of Public Health in the University of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Dr. Simanek studies public health and infectious diseases. She has been studying the coronavirus, and believes that the CDC has not yet studied the carrying of the disease by plastics.
I like the way you talked about how these plastic conserving habits and policies may not be reinstated. Once this is all over I'm worried people will continue to buy plastic water bottles and get a new cup at Starbucks each visit because they are afraid of something like this happening again. I'm not sure how we would solve this problem but maybe by offering a pay decrease or discount to those who use reusable bags or reusable cups when they go places.
Thank you for shedding light on this subject in your blog post, I find it to be very eye-opening and a reminder that issues that started before the pandemic are now thrown on the back burner. As I was reading, I realized that my mom has made two large grocery trips since the lockdown was put in place. Each time, we threw away fifty garbage bags! (Terrible, yes). This is something we never would normally do, but it was done out of fear of bringing viruses into the house. In the past, the bags were either recycled at Kroger, or reused as garbage bags for smaller trash cans throughout the house. Unfortunately we didn't know what else to do other than toss them away. Perhaps next time we can find a way to effectively disinfect or recycle them, so we will need to have a plan in place for that and think ahead next time. Hopefully this article will inform others and remind them to be more environmentally conscious, despite the fear going on. Thank you for the post!
I find it very eye opening that there is an increase in plastic due to the outbreak and I think this is a better time then ever to encourage lesser use. If humanity can get through this pandemic then they should be able to push themselves to get through environmental issues. There are many people who brain storm ways on how to reduce plastic usage and I am worried that not everyone is as encouraged as those people. As you said in your blog, it is very interesting that the article shared both sides of the situation and that is very important to evaluate both circumstances. Hopefully stories like these will encourage others to do the right thing and eliminate the usage of plastic all together. Very good job.
During these times people are not aware that plastic use is taking a rise. I am one of those people that did not put it together that companies are banning people from using their reusable bags, cups, bottles etc. These items are an essential push to fight single use plastic. With the huge crowds of people that hurried to groceries stores I can not imagine how many plastic bags were distributed. People most likely threw out these bags due to sanitary precautions and lack of knowledge to how much these bags affect our world. This is a very concerning topic and I thought you definitely expressed the concern well.
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