Uh-Oh! Many Places Have Outlawed Single-Use Plastic Bags, But Reusable ‘Green’ Bags Can Carry Coronavirus

Written by Wes Walker on March 16, 2020

Like so many other ‘progressive’ policies, these green policies are slamming face-first into the wall of ‘unintended consequences’. This one is running afoul of the Wuhan Flu panic.

Anyone paying attention could have this problem coming from a mile away. Maybe not the Wuflu Coronavirus angle of it, but the contamination angle was certainly common knowledge.

And like so many others before it, the ‘woke’ solution for bagging groceries has gone on to create new problems.

The COVID-19 outbreak is giving new meaning to those “sustainable” shopping bags that politicians and environmentalists have been so eager to impose on the public. These reusable tote bags can sustain the COVID-19 and flu viruses—and spread the viruses throughout the store.

Researchers have been warning for years about the risks of these bags spreading deadly viral and bacterial diseases, but public officials have ignored their concerns, determined to eliminate single-use bags and other plastic products despite their obvious advantages in reducing the spread of pathogens. In New York State, a new law took effect this month banning single-use plastic bags in most retail businesses, and this week Democratic state legislators advanced a bill that would force coffee shops to accept consumers’ reusable cups—a practice that Starbucks and other chains have wisely suspended to avoid spreading the COVID-19 virus.

John Flanagan, the Republican leader of the New York State Senate, has criticized the new legislation and called for a suspension of the law banning plastic bags. “Senate Democrats’ desperate need to be green is unclean during the coronavirus outbreak,” he said Tuesday, but so far he’s been a lonely voice among public officials.

The COVID-19 virus is just one of many pathogens that shoppers can spread unless they wash the bags regularly, which few people bother to do. Viruses and bacteria can survive in the tote bags up to nine days, according to one study of coronaviruses. – CityJournal

We would add that, while it is correct to say that plastic DOES give viruses a safe, non-porous surface to survive for longer periods of time, the 9 days figure — while true — is misleading.

The longer the virus remains on a surface, the more it deteriorates. The virus can continue to exist at harmful levels for one or two days, and in a weakened state at levels that are not statistically or clinically significant beyond that time… i.e. ‘up to 9 days’.

Some of us are old enough to remember when single-use plastic bags were the ethical choice pushed by the environmental lobby to replace paper bags and ‘save the trees’. Not long after that, with plastic bags showing up everywhere, they realized they had created a problem, so they started ‘taxing’ our use of single-use plastic bags and pushing us to buy these reuseable bags that are far less sanitary.

And wasn’t it the ‘progressive’ crowd that pushed for the mass production of bottled water because it was so much better for you than tapwater? Now that trend is obsolete, too. And don’t even get me started on those spiral fluorescent light bulbs.

Can they just do us all a favor and stop lobbying for all these new rules to play by, since they’re obviously half-baked and ill-considered in the first place?