New concerns have emerged over keeping plastic bag bans intact during coronavirus. Think tanks and plastic proponents are using misleading information on reusable bags and coronavirus.

Mother Jones reported that in February libertarian think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute posted concerns about reusable bags and viruses. They posted, ” Whether reusable bags could become a significant carrier of the coronavirus remains to be seen, but there are good reasons to fear they will harbor other equally dangerous bacteria and viruses transmitted from carrying meat and produce.”

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The Plastics Industry Association is also trying to stop plastic bag bans, turning to coronavirus as their rationale. According to the New York Times, the association sent a letter to the United States Department of Health and Human Services requesting that plastic bag bans be considered a health threat.

Studies on virus transmission and reusable bags is limited and as of now, none exist explicitly tied to the coronavirus. Researchers found that reusable bags can contain bacteria if not washed properly and the study urged users to wash their reusable bags regularly.

U.S. National Institutes of Health found that coronavirus can live on plastics for three days and cardboard for a day. Because single-use plastics, like plastic bags, a significant part of plastics demand, the plastics industry is tied indefinitely to their increased supply. And plastic bag bans reduce supply.

“The plastics industry is shamelessly trying to exploit this health crisis,” Judith Enck, a former regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency and founder of the advocacy group, Beyond Plastics, told the New York Times.

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Angela Rasmussen, a Columbia University virologist, said to follow best practices for disinfecting surfaces and washing hands during coronavirus, “Cloth bags can be washed with detergent and plastic bags can be disinfected with household disinfectants, but probably the most effective method of reducing risk is practicing good hand hygiene and disinfecting communal surfaces (counters, doorknobs, etc) after unpacking or unloading groceries.”

Read more about protecting yourself from coronavirus. Check the CDC website for more information on how to protect yourself and check our latest article to learn how COVID-19 differs from the flu.

Scientists believe that the spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus, started at an exotic animal market in Wuhan, China. You can help stop the incidence of viruses like these by signing this petition to ban the wildlife trade.

You can stay safe by avoiding animal products and choosing to eat more plant-based foods, which is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects.

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Interested in joining the dairy-free and meatless train? We highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

Catch up on our coronavirus coverage in One Green Planet, check out these articles:

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