Weekend Rewind: Want to beat the coronavirus? Cut out plastic

Want to beat the coronavirus? Cut out plastic

Bottom Line: Every national crisis brings about permanent change in our society. This one will be no different. The trends towards remote learning and remote work were well under way. This just sped up the transition by a generation. Many industries will never operate the same after this one. After 9/11, we didn’t just change all security systems in aviation, we changed the way the entire country handled its security with the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. In the mist of this crisis this one might seem a bit odd, and somehow less significant but it shouldn’t...bigger than the change in remote education and work, could and probably should be moving away from plastics. 

The movement away from plastic has been many years in the making. It started out on the fringes of environmental radicals a couple of decades ago and mainstreamed its way into our everyday lives. Even what seemed odd, and perhaps an overreach by local governments a few years ago, the banning of plastic straws – no longer seems that way to most. I’m not a conformist, I’m a pragmatist and with pragmatism comes the flexibility to accept solutions that may seem odd but prove to be effective. Here’s my confession on the straw thing. The limited government conservative in me still rebels wildly against local government placing bans on consumer products like straws. The pragmatist/environmentalist in me has seen and studied the harm not just of straws but plastics generally in our society. Especially the negative ecological impact. By now you’re wondering what’s happened here because my headline said this story was about the virus. It was and it is. 

The National Institutes of Health just completed a study on how long COVID-19 can live on various surfaces. Here’s what they found:

  • Air – 3 hours
  • Copper – 4 hours
  • Cardboard – 24 hours 
  • Stainless Steel – 2+ days
  • Plastic – 3 days

There’s a lot we can take away from this. Including being wary of mail delivery, careful of the exterior boxes that are delivered to your home but not the products inside them. So, for example, leave the boxes outside when delivered and take out the items before taking them into the house,for example. That is unless they’re plastic. This takes me back to movements underway that result in permanent change in moments like this. Want to beat the coronavirus? Cut out plastics.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content