Single-use Plastic: Why It Is Actually Essential in Healthcare and Food Safety
Single-use plastics, commonly used for packaging and serviceware such as bottles and wrappers, are made to only be used once or for a short period of time. Due to its lighter, durable and affordable characteristics, many manufacturers and companies began replacing traditional paper or glass staples with plastic.
Although many have raised concerns over its environmental impacts, single-use plastics also play not only a reasonable but important role especially in the healthcare and food safety industries.
Single-use plastic in healthcare industry
In the medical industry, plastic plays a significant role as it has proven to be one of the few materials that can adapt to the dynamic nature. Disposable plastic syringes, IV tubes, blood bags, heart valves, and other medical devices are just some of the many ways plastics have been used due to its versatility.
Single-use plastics also help prevent cross-contamination and make hospital environments safer by eliminating the need to sterilise and reuse a device or equipment. Plastic is also used to create special antimicrobial touch surfaces that can repel bacteria and other microbes, thus reducing the spread of dangerous diseases. With the current Covid-19 pandemic situation, single-use plastics play an important role and one that deserves acknowledgement.
Why single-use plastic is important for food safety
Sanitation and hygiene are the two most important elements in the food preparation industry, mainly achieved through the usage of single-use plastics. When food or fresh goods are packed in plastic, they are protected and preserved, helping them remain fresher and keeping them from spoiling. This in return will help reduce food wastage which strains our planet’s resources.
Due to its hygienic characteristic, plastic packaging helps insulate food and other products against any air-borne germs thus preventing germs from spreading. In addition, the use of single-use plastic can help reduce food borne illness as reusable dishes, drinking cups and utensils depend on washing after use, and that washing has to be consistent and thorough to make it safe to use again. A 2012 study in Sacramento County, California, found that nearly 30% of reusable items tested had higher than acceptable bacterial counts. So, the plates and utensils you use might not be as clean as you thought.
At Gaia Plas Berhad, we can provide customisable plastic packaging solutions to suit different business needs. For more information, please send us an enquiry via our contact form here.