So Much for the Plastic Bag Ban

Remember last year when the cry went up to ban those awful plastic grocery bags, that were made from natural gas, a climate wrecking fossil fuel, and clogged up the recycling stream? The forces of climate virtue succeeded in enacting the ban. Groceries were required to ask customers to bring their own bags, or pay a dime for a paper bag, made from cutting down the forests that would otherwise absorb that frightful carbon dioxide pollution.

The Sanitary Choice!

The ban on plastic bag cause first appeared in that hotbed of progressive causes, San Francisco in 2007. But two weeks ago the city’s Department of Health issued new behavioral guidelines, to ban people from going to stores and coffee shops with “their own bags, mugs, or other reusable items from home.”

The Wall Street Journal reported that “The department was responding to fears that the reusable bags are more prone to carrying coronavirus than the disposable plastic bags that were standard before the 2007 ban”. In an editorial last month, the Journal noted “though it’s not clear that the virus is spread by contact with reusable bags, we do know such bags are handled more than disposable plastic bags—and that bacteria can fester in them unless they are washed after each use.”

“Banning the bags that were supposed to be the smart alternative to plastic is probably as close a progressive city ever gets to admitting it was wrong.”

— John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute.


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