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Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, fossil fuel and plastic industry groups have said that reusable grocery bags and food containers spread the coronavirus. To stay healthy, they’ve encouraged consumers to double down on supposedly safer single-use plastic — things like disposable cups, cutlery, and shopping bags.
“As the COVID-19 virus spreads across the country, single-use plastics will only become more vital,” wrote Plastics Industry Association president and CEO Tony Radoszewski in March. “We live longer, healthier, and better because of single-use plastics.”
But health experts don’t think that a pivot to single-use plastic is necessary. In a statement released on Monday, more than 125 virologists, epidemiologists, and health experts from 18 different countries said it’s clear that reusables are safe to use during the pandemic. You just have to wash them.