Seattle’s city council has enacted a ban on plastic bags, despite such a ban having been overwhelmingly defeated by the voters. (Take that, silly voters!)
There’s a lot to hate about this: The government giving the people the finger. Infringement of our personal liberties. The fact that paper bags are no better for the environment than plastic.
But what takes the cake is this: The reusable grocery bags that they are trying to induce people to use carry health risks:
The International Association for Food Protection’s Food Protection Trends published a study in its latest issue revealing that most consumers surveyed never wash their reusable bags between uses, permitting bacteria to grow. The peer-reviewed study, completed by University of Arizona Microbiologist Dr. Charles Gerba, found that large numbers of bacteria were found in almost all bags and that coliform bacteria were found in half of those tested. Eight percent of bags contained E. coli.
To quote from the study itself:
A wide variety of coliform bacteria were detected in the bags including Escherichia coli. E. coli
was identified in seven bags (12% of bags tested). . . Many of the bacteria isolated are capable of causing opportunistic infections in humans.
So the Seattle City Council is creating a health risk by infringing our freedom in order to address an unimportant problem in a manner already rejected by the people.
POSTSCRIPT: It’s always interesting to me to see the hierarchy of causes on the left (e.g., multi-culturalism trumps feminism). From this NPR story, downplaying the risks of grocery bags, we see that environmentalism (in its stupidest form) trumps food safety. “Don’t fret” they say, based on interviewing one person who says that having E coli in your grocery bags is probably fine. They don’t usually take that line on matters of food safety, even for threats that — unlike this one — are entirely speculative (for example).