Why Some Cities Are Restricting the Use of Reusable Grocery Bags Right Now

Over the previous couple of years, state after state and metropolis after metropolis have banned plastic bag use at grocery shops in favor of encouraging folks to deliver their very own reusable tote baggage. Nevertheless, because the novel coronavirus spreads quickly across the nation, the bans should not solely being lifted, however typically even flipped utterly on their heads: WCVB reviews that in Massachusetts, governor Charlie Baker has now banned all reusable baggage, and lifted the plastic bag ban and any costs for utilizing single-use baggage. The identical restriction was already in place within the metropolis of Boston itself.

There’s important proof that reusable totes didn’t supply fairly the environmental benefit that they appeared to when manufacturing was factored in, however even past that, there has lengthy been proof of the luggage as a vector to make folks sick. A number of years again, researchers on the College of Arizona discovered that 97% of customers not often washed their reusable baggage, in the event that they ever did. Moreover, about 75% of customers didn’t separate their uncooked meat from different groceries, leaving the chance for cross-contamination to unfold micro organism. Within the 84 baggage that they examined, they discovered coliform and E.coli micro organism in all however one in all them. 

Beneath regular circumstances, that’s unhealthy, however with the fast unfold of COVID-19 and a lot about what surfaces it may possibly dwell on and the way it spreads, it may very well be harmful. Whereas COVID-19 is just not food-borne, so thus isn’t unfold by meals, it has been proven to dwell with out a host on varied surfaces for so long as 72 hours, so the hazard would come from the virus being handed from shopper to checker or vice versa, by way of the bag. In fact this modification and the chance to use it’s not misplaced on the plastic bag lobbyists: Politico reviews that the Plastics Business Affiliation despatched a letter to the U.S. Division of Well being and Human Providers asking that they challenge an announcement that single-use plastics are the most secure selection.

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