Plastic – a Weapon vs. Coronavirus

Plastic – a Weapon vs. Coronavirus

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In a crisis, political correctness and platitudes get relegated to abeyance. Only weeks ago the bane of our existence was plastics.   Bashing plastic straw men reached a tipping point in 2019.

coronavirusdatingsmothered in Purellmountsinaigownsplasticbash

 The Fauci ” curve ” would be an outbreak spike without plastics.

Here we go again.  In the aftermath of hurricane Harvey, plastics came to the rescue.

In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, plastic is once again the unsung hero.  You don’t see articles
about plastic breaking the transmission chain.  The mention is mostly passing, usually about how long the virus can stay alive on specific surfaces.  Update May 22, 2020 The CDC says COVID 19 does not live long on surfaces.  Sanitizing is like sooooo March 2020 !

” These plastic bubble helmets are connected to ventilators to help patients breathe.”
ABC chief foreign correspondent Maggie Rulli on assignment in Italy March 20,2020

Plastics plays a key role in both mitigation and cure.  If we are indeed on a war footing, plastics is a weapon against the coronavirus.

 

hazmatdoc         BPI Essential Products

Take a look at these images.  The common thread – plastic is a barrier between the virus and humans.
It’s basic fundamental HACCP 101.   

Did you know ?  Even the nonwoven gowns and N 95 respirators are made from fossil fuel plastic, not organic hemp. 

 

coronavirusmasks&bottlesbloodbagbloodbag2

n95maskcoronamaskcoronafunnelcoronaswab

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If the plasma therapy turns out to be viable, would single-use plastic or glass bottles be the preferred choice ?
Israel just flew in 10,000 hydroxychloroquine kits.  Were they packaged in woven burlap or plastic ?

The reason post-op infection rates are low is simple.  The sterile plastic devices are used once and disposed as biohazard in single use plastic bags.  The argument for the short service life of disposables is no longer.  There is zero chance for seed populations to infect another patient.  If this mode was not effective, we would still be washing and recycling drapes.  New York Presbyterian has a shortage of masks because they are not taking any chances.  They are going through 40,000 to 70,000 daily compared to their normal usage of about 4,000.  Source: Craig Smith, Chair Department of Surgery / Surgeon in Chief  NYP CUIMC.

(  Let’s remember basic econ here – a shortage is defined as an insufficient quantity of a commodity at the prices the market wants to pay.  When demand spikes due to an acute change in consumer behavior, voila !  You got a shortage.  We are seeing firsthand the invisible hand stepping up. )

We make film destined for opthalmic drapes, ostomy bags, under patient capillary blankets and other dermal contact medical devices.  Would you really want to be the patient who gets a hand-me down device ?  There are no poll numbers, but I suspect most of the greens would save themselves, not the planet given a choice.  If the government declares plastics a non-essential industry, recycled devices and bandages will become SOP (standard operating procedure ).

” Doctors are putting masks in ziplock bags so they can be reused for up to a week.”
ABC anchor David Muir March 20, 2020.

               oldhospital

Governor Mike DeWine of Ohio is pressuring the FDA to fast track approval of mask sterilization. 

It’s ironic that this is happening just as we are about to launch version 4.0 of a reusable bag.  Suddenly, the data about microbes travelling on reusable bags has become relevant.   A major defense of single use bags has been their cleanliness vis-a-vis reusable bags.  The data on microloads has been out there for years.  This has led to re-thinking bag bans.  

https://wgme.com/news/coronavirus/state-considers-delaying-new-law-banning-plastic-bags-amid-coronavirus-spread

https://www.silive.com/coronavirus/2020/03/plastic-bag-ban-enforcement-delayed-due-to-coronavirus-concerns.html

https://www.abqjournal.com/1433324/coronavirus-is-why-plastic-bag-ban-should-go.html

https://www.forbes.com/sites/patrickgleason/2020/03/17/pandemic-prompts-call-to-suspend-or-repeal-bag-bans–taxes/#53cf2f23464d

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/san-francisco-order-bans-reusable-bags-from-grocery-stories

noreusablebags

The virtue signallers have a dilemma.  If they show they care more than everyone else by using single-use plastic bags, they will tacitly endorse the plastic-industrial complex.   Who knew there would be comedy gold in this tragedy ?  Us humans are the root of all problems, so why keep more of them alive ?

Once again expediency and survival trumps political correctness. 

 

charmin

At this writing, resin producers claim there is still substantial demand.  In my own direct experience, I have not seen nor heard of eco warriors refusing to buy toilet paper packaged in plastic.  MDPE for soft goods overwrap will be strong in the short term. 

The world will be different in the aftermath of the current unpleasantness.  Time will tell if plastic reverts to goat or remains a hero. 

Update May 14, 2020
To the chagrin of plastic haters, single use plastic is only going to increase dramatically.  Open kiosks are out, prepackaged is in.   We will be greeted at events with kits consisting of a mask and spray. 

 

welcomebag

 
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