Experts defend safety of reusables during COVID-19 pandemic

22 June 2020

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Academics including Professor Charlotte Williams, one of the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Plastics’ lead researchers, have sought to reassure the public that reusable containers are safe to use during the current Covid-19 pandemic.

Professor Williams was among 125 people, including scientists, doctors, and specialists in public health and food packaging safety, who signed a statement amid fears that efforts to reduce single-use plastic are falling victim to hygiene fears caused by the pandemic.

They say disposable products are not inherently safer than reusables and that reusable systems can be utilised safely during the pandemic by employing basic hygiene. The statement was also backed by Greenpeace USA and Upstream, a non-profit organisation investigating solutions to plastic pollution.

Professor Williams told the Guardian and The Telegraph: “I hope we can come out of the Covid-19 crisis more determined than ever to solve the pernicious problems associated with plastics in the environment

“In terms of the general public’s response to the Covid crisis, we should make every attempt to avoid over-consumption of single-use plastics, particularly in applications like packaging.”

Read the full statement here.