Because of COVID-19, does the amount of plastic products in hospitals increase significantly?

Nowadays, coronaviruses are raging all over the world, doctors and nurses in hospitals are becoming more and more busy. During this period, it seems that plastic products are used more and more.

Xinyi Bian interviewed a chief nurse in China and learned about the use of plastic products during the epidemic.

AiHua Xu, 48, the chief nurse of the Nanjing People’s Hospital,  said:

The COVID-19 is very contagious. Doctors and nurses must have adequate protective measures to ensure that they are not infected. These protective measures are made of plastic.

Face masks, goggles, protective clothing, and medical gloves are inseparable from plastic.

Protective equipmentPhotographer:Xinyi Bian

These protective products contain many common plastics, such as polyvinyl chloride, polypropylene, polyethylene and so on.

During the epidemic, polypropylene non-woven special material has become a popular item in the market, and it is an essential material for making medical face masks. It can help medical staff effectively isolate the virus from the mask, thus preventing the virus from entering the body through the mouth and nose.

Disposable protective clothing not only ensured the safety of personnel, but also ensured the cleanliness of the ward environment.

Disposable protective clothing is inseparable from high-density polyethylene. High-density polyethylene is processed together with other materials to become a nonwoven material. This material can isolate germs, harmful dust and electromagnetic radiation.

After the disposable protective clothing is used up, it would be immediately discarded and disposed of as medical waste.

Goggles are also an indispensable equipment for medical workers. Without it, the virus easily enters the body through the eyes. The main material of the goggles is acetate fiber, which is also a kind of plastic.

Aihua Xu, 48, felt very grateful and said:

As a medical staff, we very much need these protective products, and we are very grateful for these disposable protective products, although the use of them will definitely increase a lot of plastic waste.

Because of the insufficient knowledge of the virus before, many medical staff were infected. Later, as the understanding of the virus became clearer, people began to realize its terrible. In the early days, the protective equipment of medical staff was not enough.

Without disposable protective equipment, more medical personnel would fell ill, resulting in a shortage of medical personnel. Eventually it will affect the efficiency of hospital treatment.

However, the extensive use of plastics will ultimately be detrimental to our nature.

One end of the balance is tens of thousands of lives, and the other end is the earth on which we live. How should we choose?

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