Marialyce Pedersen, best365官网登录顾问y Council Member

Written by guest contributor Marialyce Pedersen, best365官网登录顾问y Council Member


与此同时,应对全球大流行病对继续在零废物方面取得进展提出了挑战, 有献身精神的个人和企业正在捍卫回收利用,并迅速创新新的或经过调整的再利用方法,以保护公众健康和安全,同时减少导致不可回收废物的一次性塑料的产生.  

While health 和 safety should of course remain the top priority, 现有的大量资源表明,我们可以为护理工作者和公众的健康和安全提供保障,同时限制使用一次性个人防护装备(PPE),从而减少浪费. This article is intended to highlight some of those resources, 并分享在2019冠状病毒病大流行期间为确保在零浪费方面继续取得进展所做的努力.

一个新出现的挑战是增加一次性个人防护装备和其他一次性材料的塑料生产, followed by brief use, 和 medical waste incineration of discarded PPE in waste-to-energy facilities. This causes a cascade of negative environmental impacts, 和 diminishes public health 和 safety, 其中许多影响不成比例地落在污染设施所在的弱势社区.[1]

But communities are stepping up globally to ensure that recycling, 重用, 和 zero waste efforts are not lost in this new normal. 的 European Union (EU), 例如, 到2021年减少许多一次性塑料(sup)的承诺是否会坚定, 尽管塑料行业协会因新冠疫情要求推迟实施. 的 EU Commission rejected that bid, stating that good hygiene practices should be applied to all products, including substitutes of banned SUPs.[2] 美国居民正在奋起反抗,以阻止解除艰难的地区塑料袋禁令.[3]

In May 2020, nonprofit UPSTREAM published 的 Safety of Reuse During the COVID-19 P和emic, 回答了一系列常见问题,并提供了关于重复使用和可重复使用产品的安全性的可靠参考. UPSTREAM also hosted a webinar in April, Indisposable: 的 Safety 和 Future of Reuse.

 的 importance of leveraging 重用 systems in hospital 和 care-home settings, 和其他地方, has never been more critical, 因为它们可以在很大程度上防止一次性使用和处置个人防护装备(PPE)成为常态时出现的短缺. 护士, doctors 和 facilities staff, each equipped with a week’s worth of reusable gowns 和 durable masks, along with access to certified laundering or sanitizing, would never run out of PPE, while reducing overhead costs. (US health-care facilities generate about 14,000 tons of waste per day; up to 25 percent is plastic.[4])

布长袍, 面具和帽子, 直到20世纪60年代,每晚在大型医院洗衣店(或非现场)洗衣服是医疗保健的标准, 当一次性塑料作为更安全的防止交叉污染的保护而上市时. 然而大多数病毒, 包括COVID-19, are not difficult to kill with normal sanitizing procedures, including wiping with disinfectant or laundering.

医院的经验可能对其他准备重新开业并需要为员工提供个人防护装备的企业具有指导意义, while being conscious of costs. (Provision of washable cloth masks to employees is a one-time cost; furnishing single-use, 对于目前陷入困境的企业来说,每天向全体员工发放一次性口罩可能在财政上令人望而却步.) 

Healthcare Reuse Highlights & 资源

  • 实践Greenhealth, 倡导医疗保健社区最佳环境实践的非营利组织, 调查和跟踪那些用可重复使用的塑料代替一次性塑料的医院, 和 provides resources to help others do the same.
    • Greening the OR Guidance Documents provides case studies, including one from Kaiser 每manente, 其中,使用可重复使用的手术衣和洗手盆套装减少了30吨受管制的医疗废物, 节省了3英镑.8%.
    • Moving (Back) to Reusables in the OR, revealed that costs are about the same to provide sanitized cloth gowns vs. paper, 和 both patients 和 doctors prefer cloth.
  • A Health Care Without Harm 项目 和 Case Studies 网页引用了一家澳大利亚医院,从一次性使用的麻醉设备改为可重复使用的麻醉设备,每年节省的资金约为25美元,600, a 46 percent reduction, 和 also resulted in energy, GHG 和 water conservation.
  • 疾控中心的出版物, N95过滤面罩的长期使用和有限重复使用建议指南 (口罩), 解决由于流行病导致供应枯竭的情况下的最佳做法(2015年出版), 在COVID-19之前).

的 question on everyone’s mind is: are disposables, such as single-use plastics, 比可重复使用的更安全? Reputable sources say “No”.

另一个突出而重要的问题是:在表面(如可重复使用的袋子或布质口罩)上杀死COVID-19是否困难?? Reputable sources continue to say “no”: 

  • CDC published early laundering guidelines (How to Clean 和 Disinfect), 注意的是, 任何肥皂,任何洗衣粉,都会打破冠状病毒的外部屏障并杀死它.
  • 美国.S. 环境保护署(EPA)提供了一份用于对抗新型冠状病毒SARS-CoV-2的已注册抗菌产品清单: List N: Disinfectants for SARS-CoV-2.
  • Professional laundries can be accredited by the Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council (HLAC), ensuring they meet or exceed the highest st和ards of textile laundering. In April 2020, HLAC published 更新的指导 声明可重复使用的防护装备,由认可的洗衣店清洗,是非常安全的.
  • For laundromat customers, the Coin Laundry Association published Safe Laundering Guidelines for COVID, which notes that regular cleaning helps prevent the spread of disease. It recommends not shaking dirty laundry 和 utilizing hot water 和 dryers.


Protecting Regional Plastic Bag Bans

由于新冠肺炎疫情,美国各地暂时取消了塑料购物袋禁令.S., including Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York 和 California.[5]

With frontline workers’ safety as a priority, shoppers are having to make a choice of going backwards to single-use bags. 然而,加利福尼亚州等州已经为商店和工人发布了OSHA-COVID指南. 他们可以允许客户使用他们自己的可重复使用的袋子,并打包他们自己的杂货. If that is not permitted, shoppers are commonly resorting to transporting groceries to vehicles in carts, where they can transfer their purchases to their bags. 环保组织正与卫生部门和杂货店密切合作,提供有关可重复使用塑料袋的最佳数据.

  • In May 2020, Sunrise Sequoyah Pasadena (CA) initiated a letter-writing campaign 在帕萨迪纳市, CA Mayor Terry Tornek, 要求帕萨迪纳市议会恢复帕萨迪纳的塑料袋禁令,并就可重复使用物品的安全性加强与公众的沟通.

Zero Waste Refillable Stores Adaptations

大多数因COVID-19而被迫关闭店面业务的零售零废物/再填充商店已转向提供在线订购和路边取货或送货服务, to protect customer health 和 safety, 和 touchless product dispensing innovations are arriving or are expected soon.

Safe Reuse Champion, Hong Kong

香港, one of the most densely populated places in the world, has been a lodestar for keeping the virus at bay. World Wildlife Fund (WWF) HK reminds Hong Kong residents to continue bringing their own containers. Sierra Club Zero Waste Facebook最近发布了来自香港的照片,包括 reusable foodware at a restaurantreusable shopping bags at grocery stores.

 Moving Forward, Safely

best365官网登录 bt365真人 Rating System provides extensive guidance on recommended best practices to reduce 和 重用. And during the COVID-19 p和emic, 零废物社区必须不断迭代,以找到减少废物的安全方法, 重用的材料, 和 recycle while keeping workers’ health 和 safety top of mind. With best365官网登录’s partners, this important work will 继续进步.  



[1] Health 和 Ecological Effects of Burning Medical Waste, Frances Beldia, Health Care Without Harm, Feb. 2015.

[2] EU dismisses industry calls to lift ban on single-use plastics, Frederic Simon, Euractiv.com, 4月. 2020.

[3] In Coronavirus, Industry Sees Chance to Undo Plastic Bag Bans, Hiroko Tabuchi, New York Times, March, 2020.

[4] Can medical care exist without plastic? Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic, October 2019.

[5] In Coronavirus, Industry Sees Chance to Undo Plastic Bag Bans, Hiroko Tabuchi, New York Times, March, 2020.