Call Me Stormy

Finding righteous currents in turbulent times

Bag Ban Spreads Disease

Growing numbers of Leftist cities, including San Francisco, Los Angeles and Portland, have instituted bans on plastic bags, citing the destruction of wildlife caused by bags discarded into the environment. But the most common alternative — the reusable, cloth grocery bag — is now being shown to have unwanted side-effects, allowing for the spread of harmful bacteria, especially coliform bacteria such as E. coli.

Jonathan Klick, a fellow at the Property and Environment Research Center, says more than half of reusable grocery bags tested in San Francisco were found to contain E. coli, and deaths due to E. coli infections have increased at least 50 percent in the city since its plastic bag ban went into effect. “Up until now the entire discussion has really been on the environmental benefits and no one has really talked about the costs — not only the costs of the loss of convenience of plastic bags, but certainly not the health costs,” Klick asserts. More from PERC.

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