Until recently, the Covid-19 was a great unknown to all of us. The arrival of the pandemic generated a worldwide state of emergency and scientists from several countries began to investigate the origin of the virus and its transmission contexts.
Nowadays, we know that the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is transmitted by direct contact of respiratory secretions produced by sneezing or coughing. But how long can the virus survive on surfaces? The truth is that its survival time is different depending on the material on which it is deposited.
According to research published in The New England Journal of Medicine, Covid-19 is able to retain its infectious properties for hours or even days. We know that the virus can remain active for up to 3 hours when suspended in the air. However, its survival time is longer when it hits certain surfaces. In the case of stainless steel, for example, the virus is able to survive up to 3 days. But how long does the coronavirus survive in plastic or cardboard?
Plastic and cardboard are two of the most commonly used materials in disposable packaging and tableware. For this reason, it is vitally important that you know how the virus behaves in these materials. In this post we will try to clear up all your doubts.
What will you find in this article?
The scientific study published in The New England Journal of Medicine confirms that the coronavirus can survive up to 24 hours on cardboard surfaces. This time is determined by the physical characteristics of the cardboard itself. This material has a number of fibres that tend to absolve the virus, drying out more quickly. This is a virus that requires moisture and therefore its survival time is reduced in the carton pack.
The same study confirms that Covid-19 can survive up to 72 hours on plastic surfaces, although it is true that its viral load decreases as the hours go by. In the study conducted, the active load of the virus remained active for an average of 5 to 6 hours on plastic surfaces.
What is the risk of infection through plastic or cardboard packaging?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the probability of contagion through contact with commercial items or handled packages is low. According to the General Directorate of Health and Food Safety there is no certainty that someone can become infected by touching a plastic or cardboard package. However, it is advisable to always act with caution and follow health recommendations to minimize the chances of contagion.
Washing your hands with soap and water, after eating or doing any task, should become a systematic action. It is also advisable to disinfect your hands with hydroalcoholic gels frequently.
It is advisable to cover your mouth with your elbow when sneezing or coughing, rather than with your hands. Authorities also insist on the need to avoid touching your face or eyes.
Following these recommendations will be critical to limiting the spread of the virus and reducing the risk of infection.
Do plastic or carton packs help reduce the risk of infection?
Disposable tableware, plastic and carton packaging have always been characterised as a highly hygienic solution. Their single-use nature prevents the kitchenware from being shared by several users, eliminating any possibility of transmission of the virus between different diners. Precisely for this reason, many hotel and catering businesses have opted for disposable crockery to face the new normality
Now that we are here, it is everyone’s responsibility to act with caution, to join forces and to take all possible preventive measures in order to eradicate the virus and return to life as we knew it.