Plastic Bag Bans Ending Quickly as Customer-Mandated Totes Prove Good Carriers of Viruses or Bacteria

“These re-usable tote bags can sustain the COVID-19 and Flu Viruses — and spread them throughout the store!”

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Texas Insider Report) — In order to help stop the spread of the CoronaVirus, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu has issued an Executive Order requiring the state's Grocers & Retail Stores to stop using "reusable bags" and instead return to the use of plastic and paper bags. And the state of New York has put a hold on its recently passed plastic bag ban in order to cut back on the disease's spread.

These and other fast moving actions are exposing the fact that not only are such bans marginally effective or even detrimental in their impacts (more on that below,) but they also pose a public health hazard.

Re-usable, customer-mandated tote bags are a good carrier for bacteria and viruses – the CoronaVirus included.

“There's ample scientific research concluding that reusable bags contribute to the spread of bacteria and viruses, and now more than ever we need to take every step possible to ensure that New Yorkers are safe and healthy,” the American Recyclable Plastic Bag Alliance's (ARPBA) Executive Director Matt Seaholm said, commending New York's decision to delay enforcement of the recently passed regulation.

Seaholm said that since single-use plastic bags are essential to stopping the spread of the CoronaVirus, the common flu and similar types of diseases in the future, an alternative to the plastic bag ban should be developed.

Yes, as the nation confronts the deadly CoronaVirus pandemic – and as the nation's Citizens, Businesses & Governments scramble to do all they can to stop its spread – many of the seemingly useless measures that were instituted during less turbulent times are being quickly thrown aside. The governors of Massachusetts, New York and New Hampshire have temporarily ordered the use of disposable bags in stores across their states in order to stop the spread of the CoronaVirus pandemic. And grocery stores around the country, including some in Minnesota, are putting restrictions on them.
“Our grocery store workers are on the front lines of the #COVID19 battle, working around the clock to keep NH families fed,” said New Hampshire's Gov. Sununu, a Republican, via Twitter while issuing his order instructing grocery and retail stores to return to the practice of using plastic and paper bags. 

“With identified community transmission, it is important that shoppers keep their reusable bags at home given the potential risk to baggers, grocers, and customers.”

Mindless virtue signaling doesn’t seem to be faring very well in a time of real crisis, and just one of these useless measures is that of banning plastic bags, pushed by environmental activists in recent years.

And New York and New Hampshire are not alone.

Numerous other states and cities around the country have also suspending their plastic bag bans (Kent, Washingto’s Plastic Bag Ban Suspended Due to COVID-19,) while there's a growing call for places that haven't repealed the bans to bring them to an end during the CoronaVirus outbreak.

“These emergency measures will support Maine’s response to the CoronaVirus and mitigate its spread around the state,” said Maine Gov. Janet Mills.

Maine’s decision comes as a growing number of politicians, public policy analysts, plastics industry leaders and others call for a rollback or removal of current or planned single-use plastic bag bans.

Nick Isgro, the mayor of Waterville, ME, called on city leaders to reverse course and suspend the city's single-use plastic bag ban, despite the fact it was just passed at the end of last year.
“These reusable tote bags can sustain the COVID-19 and flu viruses — and spread the viruses throughout the store,” Isgro said in a social media post.

“Be assured, this is not to re-litigate our current ordinance… This is a temporary public safety measure.”

In an article for Forbes on March 17, 2020 intitled "Pandemic Prompts Call To Suspend Or Repeal Bag Bans & Taxes," Patrick Gleason of Americans For Tax Reform revealed how:
"A 2011 study published by researchers at the University of Arizona and Loma Linda University found that reusable shopping bags are often used for multiple purposes, transported and set down in many difference places, and are ‘seldom if ever washed.’

"Researchers discovered that ‘Large numbers of bacteria were found in almost all bags, and coliform bacteria in half,’ along with a ‘wide range of enteric bacteria, including several opportunistic pathogens.’

"A number of additional studies have found reusable bags serve as carriers of bacteria that cause food-borne illness.”

Numerous studies, including one published in the Journal of Environmental Health in 2018 entitled "The Spread of a NoroVirus via Reusable Grocery Bags in a Grocery Supermarket," have detailed how researchers planted a surrogate virus on the bags of three shoppers who went into grocery stores, and after they bought and checked out with their groceries, researchers"
... found the virus “on the hands of the shoppers and checkout clerks, as well as on many surfaces touched by the shoppers, including packaged food, unpackaged produce, shopping carts, checkout counters, and the touch screens used to pay for groceries.”
Such a scenario represents a scary prospect today, as countless Americans have their only contact with the general public when they go to their local grocery store, making the efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 CoronaVirus much more difficult.
Bottom LineThe actions of numerous government entities around the country during this time of national crisis makes it clear that the misguided nature of plastic bag bans should be reversed, and that cities and states must move quickly to prevent such bans from exacerbating the CoronaVirus pandemic.

Serious times, and serious matters such as the COVID-19 CoronaVirus, appear to be forcing some of the nation's more liberal states, cities and elected Officials to abandon the "Democrat-Socialist" virtue signaling and restore common sense.

Suspending and eliminating the bans on plastic bags is a good sign that it may be happening already.