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Plastic Bag Laws May Lead to Disease Threat

It stands to reason--and a recent study indicates--that cities that require grocery shoppers to forgo plastic bags and encourage re-usable cloth bags instead are increasing risks of germ growth and, with it, the spread of disease. The redoubtable Debra J. Saunders has the story in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Ms Saunders gives several reasons why cloth bags can cause contagion, and offers an easy rejoinder to the green solution that people should wash their reusable cloth bags frequently. That is, in real life, people don't wash their grocery bags.

It also turns out that plastic bags represent only a miniscule share of landfill pollution. How much better off would we be if the same amount of money being spent on cloth grocery bags was spent on picking up trash from beaches, roads and urban fields?

Ms Saunders does omit, however, the chief benefit of cloth bags: the sense of moral superiority they confer on the user. As the ad says, "Priceless."

You can email brucechapman@discovery.org

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