Our Head of Realization, Brandi Parker, writes about the ways that a pandemic like coronavirus affects the ban on plastic, material innovation and other sustainability initiatives in her latest article with The Dieline.

The ban on plastic has led several states to rid of single-use plastic bags and many companies to shift away from plastic straws, cups and packaging. Yet, single-use plastic plays a critical role in safety during a pandemic like coronavirus.

“Reusable materials nor shared spaces guarantee cleanliness. So, it makes sense that we would raise concerns about reuse. After all, we spent the better part of the last century developing ways to make our shared spaces as sanitary as possible. And, at times like these, when we find ourselves at the crossroads of safety and sustainability, the most environmentally friendly options aren’t always the healthiest.

Historically, convenience led us to single-use items. Don’t do the dishes, use paper plates; don’t wash drinkware, use paper (or plastic) cups; don’t worry about the silverware, use plastic cutlery. Thankfully, society has started to shift away from this frivolous mindset in favor of reuse. But single-use items can’t be disposed of altogether. The fact is plastic has saved lives since its inception. When sanitization and illness rise to the level of a pandemic, single-use re-emerges not for convenience but safety.”

Read Brandi Parker’s full article over on The Dieline.