For John, BLUF: Banning plastic bags may be another feel-good action by Government. Nothing to see here; just move along.
Out in San Francisco the plastic shopping bag used by Grocery Stores (Supermarkets) was banned. That ban has now come under fire from a study by Wharton School Institute for Law and Economics Professors Jonathan Klick and Joshua Wright. They suggest it may be killing a small number of people, due to problems with reusing cloth bags without washing them.
They found a 46 percent rise in food-borne-illness deaths. The bottom line: "Our results suggest that the San Francisco ban led to, conservatively, 5.4 annual additional deaths."The law of unintended consequences.
There are defenders of the ban, including San Francisco health officer Tomás Aragón.
It would seem to me that rather than a ban by a Governmental body, an education program with alternatives would allow the People to make the proper choices. And, we might find that there are reasons people like plastic bags, including being able to stop into a store on the way home without having to stop by the house to collect the shopping bags,♠ or having to buy another such bag at the store. For me, the plastic bags, doubled, become a way to deal with cat waste.
Hat tip to the Instapundit.
Regards — Cliff
♠ In the UK, and other places in Europe, the term String Bag has been used to describe recyclable shopping bags with an open netting, which allow for some variety in packing items. This, in turn, led to the nickname "Stringbag" for the Fairy Swordfish torpedo bomber of World War II. Some of the exploits of the Stringbag fliers were chronicled here.