A research team at Cape Breton University is hoping to find organic nanoparticles that will kill any COVID-19 that lands on plastic packaging.

Dr. Beth Mason, CEO of the Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment, said her team was already working with organic nanoparticles to make food packaging safer when funding became available for coronavirus research.

Mason said metals and biopolymers found in algae and sea shells could also disable or kill COVID-19, and they could be applied to all kinds of plastic wrapping, not just food packaging.

“I can tell you I’m excited about the prospect of not washing my groceries when I get them home and I suspect a lot of other people would be, too,” she said with a laugh.

Verschuren Centre research is usually funded by industry with a specific goal in mind. Mason said her team is already working with Copol International, a plastic film manufacturer in North Sydney, to make packaging material that breaks down easily after use.

That company won’t necessarily be making antiviral plastic if Mason’s research is successful, but she said the results would likely be patented and then licensed to a manufacturer who could quickly make packaging widely available.


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