THE ANCHORAGE DAILY PLANET
A week or so ago, we pointed out San Francisco is banning reusable shopping bags to prevent coronavirus from reaching grocery carts and counters. Today, more cities are jumping on the band wagon.
Again, almost inexplicably, Anchorage is not one of them despite reusable bags being a serious health risk as they brings germs into locations.
Among those calling for a ban on reusable bags are the plastics industry and unions representing grocery workers, who largely have continued to work and are at particular risk. The union representing Oregon workers wants such a ban and a Chicago union has called for an end to a local plastic bag tax.
Massachusetts banned reusable bags last week, while other states, CBS says, including New Hampshire, Colorado, Illinois and Maryland, either have stopped enforcing plastic bag bans or banned reusable bags. Denver is expected to delay a proposed tax on plastic and paper bags until at least 2021 rather than July 1 of this year, David Sachs reports in Denverite.”
In Anchorage, a ban on the one-use plastic bags remains solidly in effect and the use of reusable bags largely is allowed. Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz suspended the city’s 10-cent fee for disposable paper bags in retail establishments, such as grocery stores.
That fee was supposed to coerce us into bringing our own reusable bags to stores to rid the land of the one-use plastic bags. It was a lousy idea. Three Bears grocery stores temporarily have banned reusable bags because of the health risks.
The Anchorage Assembly should move to do the same and ban use of reusable bags in critical locations and allow the one-time-use plastic bags.