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Plastics are an asset in fight against COVID-19 no matter what Greenpeace may claim | READER COMMENTARY

Plastic industry claims its products are essential for protective gear such as the suits worn by this disaster medical assistance team emerging from the Brinton Woods Post Acute Care Center in Baltimore last Friday afternoon. May 8, 2020
Plastic industry claims its products are essential for protective gear such as the suits worn by this disaster medical assistance team emerging from the Brinton Woods Post Acute Care Center in Baltimore last Friday afternoon. May 8, 2020(Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun)

Greenpeace knows how to issue press releases with false allegations, but do they know how to make life saving personal protective equipment? American plastics manufacturers do. In fact, the companies that Greenpeace is attacking on the pages of The Baltimore Sun and other publications across the country are working 24/7 to make the PPE that hospitals and first responders need (“Plastics industry using coronavirus to demonize reusable bags,” May 6).

In their desire to get attention, Greenpeace is running a nationwide campaign filled with misinformation about the plastics industry. Let me first clear something up. No, the plastics industry doesn’t have any “multi-million dollar” campaign against reusable bags. In fact, we aren’t spending any money against reusable bags. What’s amazing is that it may actually be Greenpeace that is calling for the banning of reusable bags.

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Greenpeace continues to cite a National Institutes of Health study in the New England Journal of Medicine that says SARS-CoV-2 can live on plastic for up to 72 hours. What they aren’t telling you is that the plastic that the researchers tested is polypropylene. Polypropylene is what 90% of reusable bags are made of. But that doesn’t really fit their narrative, so they use the word “plastic” to confuse you. The truth is, no traditional plastic grocery bag is made from polypropylene. And if they were, this study would serve as evidence to not reuse that bag.

Greenpeace and other anti-plastic activist organizations should be ashamed of themselves. Instead of focusing on efforts to protect essential workers and help America get through this pandemic, they are spreading false information to try to protect their hollow political victories.

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When we come out of this COVID-19 crisis, our country will be stronger. And the plastics industry will be able to say they did everything they could to help the cause by making and donating millions of plastic products and PPE to help heal, feed and protect America. My question for the folks at Greenpeace: Can you say the same?

Matt Seaholm, Washington, D.C.

The writer is executive director of the American Recyclable Plastic Bag Alliance.

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