08
Sep

If we are going to stimulate the recovery then public guidance needs to catch up with science to deliver sustainable travel solutions and that means the end (again) for single-use plastics

The traveller experience may have changed forever, but that doesn’t mean we need to lose sight of the long-term values of some of the industries that have a vital role to play in safeguarding the environment around us.

The travel and tourism and transport industries (aviation especially) have a big black mark on them for their perceived approach to the environment. But the industries have been working hard to build future sustainable solutions, many of which are not as widely recognised as factors such as overtourism and air travel emissions that particularly grab the spotlight.

Covid-19 has hit the world like a bolt out of the blue and left it in a confused state. Quite rightly, emergency measures have been introduced with the priority to safeguard public health, but we must ensure that the circumstances do not mean we lose focus on the bigger picture. There is a lot to deal with right now, but public guidance needs to catch up with science to ensure that coronavirus doesn’t do more damage to any already fragile environment.

Early in the pandemic, public health experts worried that reusable items could spread the virus from one individual to another through contaminated surfaces – a fear the plastics industry seemed happy to encourage. Governments suspended or delayed regulations that banned or disincentivised single-use plastics and many public health agencies recommended or required the use of disposable items.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) describes this as “a situation in which much of the public health guidance has lagged the science”. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there have been no actual documented cases of Covid-19 that can be attributed to contact with a contaminated surface. Nor is there evidence to support its transmission.

This means there is no particular reason why disposable plastics are returning. In fact, this health expert statement released as far back as the end of Jun-2020 cites more than 125 virologists, epidemiologists, and health experts from 18 different countries making a persuasive case that reusables are safe to use during the pandemic. As they and address, the key is “basic hygiene”.

READ MORE via The Blue Swan Daily: If we are going to stimulate the recovery then public guidance needs to catch up with science to deliver sustainable travel solutions and that means the end (again) for single-use plastics