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.