The law of unintended consequences: rise in infectious disease tied to plastic bag ban

Husband and I have debated this one, though I admit we never thought the rise in infectious disease would be measurable. Via HotAir, a fascinating look at the dirty problem associated with reusable grocery bags:

Liberals will have no problem arguing a bird or turtle’s life is worth more than a human’s because they do it all the time (Wesley J. Smith’s “A Rat Is a Pig Is a Dog Is a Boy” exposes the grotesque reality of the PETA position). But when children start dying en masse from cross-contamination that could have been so easily avoided by a cheap disposable bag, will some folks wake up? I wonder.

In full disclosure, I have plenty of cloth bags, though I never (ok, rarely) use them for groceries. I color-code our laundry by bag and shuffle it up and down narrow staircases to the laundry room and back to hanging on bedroom doors. Another functions as a great swim-class bag. But none carry raw meat or poultry, and it’ll likely stay that way.

Cross-posted at Pundit & Pundette.

10 Responses

  1. what about the other unintended consequences?
    (lets face it, environmentalists are more concerned with the “earth’s health” than they are with people’s health…they don’t care if people get sick)

    are these cloth bags even recyclable?
    i mean you can only “re-use” them for so long, they don’t last forever.

    plus the manufacturing of them requires a lot more energy than it does to produce the plastic bags.

    so we have is more energy consumption (and pollution) as a result of the manufacturing of the cloth bags that will eventually end up in a landfill anyway vs. more efficiently made, RECYCLABLE plastic bags.

    …but i guess it just makes environmentalists feel better to impose their will on others even if it doesn’t make a difference environmentally…or may even be worse for the environment or people’s health when you look at the OVERALL picture.

    • Re-usable is less waste and energy than recycling. As for how long the bags last. My $2 to $5 canvas bags have lasted 20 years so far. The 99¢ bag last 2 to 3 years.
      I forgot to mention that the same toxins found in the 99¢ re-usable bags are likely to be found in the plastic bags.
      Lets get real bag fees have little to do with the environment. The intention is to raise money

      • oh, i fully agree it’s all about making money and has absolutely NOTHING to do with the environment…which makes the whole “plastic bag ban” all the more absurd.

        now, are you talking about an “all purpose” canvas bag (referring to the one that’s lasted 20 years) ?

        in that case yes, an all purpose canvas bag would be a lot more durable (heck, i could take a good quality duffel bag to pack groceries in that would probably last the rest of my life), but i’m talking about the grocery store brand cloth grocery bags that MOST people are probably going to end up using.

        my wife bought some of the grocery store brand cloth bags less than a year ago (i don’t know how much they were, probably the cheap ones, but i would guess those are the ones most people buy) and are already showing significant wear & tear, and i’m guessing won’t last another year before we have to buy more.

        plus there are so many other uses for the plastic bags after you get your groceries home.
        we don’t even buy small trash bags, because the plastic grocery bags are the perfect size for the small trash cans.
        i use the plastic grocery bags every week to clean the cats’ litter box out.
        we always keep a few of the plastic grocery bags in the kids’ diaper bag, so when we’re out, and one of the kids has “diaper overflow” (as we call it), we can tie up the soiled garments in the plastic grocery bag so the mess doesn’t get on anything else.

        “banning” of the plastic bags is just ridiculously stupid. if people want to use the cloth bags, fine, we do it ourselves (of course the things that might contaminate other foods, like the raw meats, or anything that isn’t in some type of pre-packaging, like fruits & vegetables, my wife always wraps in a plastic bag before putting into the cloth bag anyway), but there is no reason to “ban” the plastic bags…especially when anyone can see right through the whole “it’s for the environment” lie.

  2. The toxins that cant be washed away is lead paint, which would generally not leech into food because the paint is on the outside of the bag.
    The bag bans also cause a rise in education costs. If families don’t have paper sacks to make book covers they have to buy the stretchy cloth covers. These covers press on the part of thebook where the front and back covers attach to the spine resulting in repairs and more frequent replacing of books.

  3. thanks for posting this. I need to go wash my shopping bags now.


  4. That was a good analysis. Glad you posted it.

  5. I have a great solution, buy a box of cheap small (4 gal) plastic garbage bags, use them to bag your groceries and then throw them away.

    If your grocer doesn’t sell them, you can buy them online.

  6. […] Political Junkie Mom discusses the unintended consequences of the plastic bag ban […]

  7. Badbmaran – I had read some months back that the many of the bags are made in China (of course) and have toxins in them. You can’t wash those away in many cases.

    I won’t use them for food.

  8. This shows the lack of common sense. Married to an Environmental Engineer, I am all for encouraging re-usable items. Why does it not occur to people to wash the bags? Just as I use towels and washclothes to clean my kitchen, I use the bags and wash them after every shopping trip.

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