COVID19 catapulted us into a strange new world.
Large takeaway chains took the lead in temporarily refusing reusable cups, prompting many cafes to follow suit and switch from reuse to single-use.
Big Plastic also used this opportunity to sow fear and push their own agenda, lobbying to repeal plastic bag bans and falsely equating hygiene with single-use.
We were rather alarmed at the spread of misinformation and consequential impact on human and environmental health.
COVID-19 put us all on alert - and rightly so. However, it’s important that decisions and actions are evidence-based. When compared to properly washed reusables, single-use items are a poor substitute. They’re not a sterile fix-all.
“Single-use disposables can harbor viruses and pathogenic bacteria. They are subject to whatever pathogens have settled on them from manufacture, transport, inventory stocking, and eventual use…According to a recently-released peer-reviewed scientific consensus statement, over 12,000 chemicals are used in food packaging, and many of them are hazardous to human health.”
– Break Free From Plastic & Upstream
At times when the convenience imperative loosens its grip on our lives, we can't waste the opportunity to reduce waste and single-use behaviour.
These times can be uncertain and challenging but they remind us that we’re part of a global community, we stand or fall together.
These are our recommendations to maintain reuse and support your local cafe: