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Friday, March 5, 2021
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Ban the virus-tainted bags

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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.

Read more at The Anchorage Daily Planet.

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Written by

Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • The reusable bags being mainly made of fibers are more safer than plastic. They can be laundered.

    • You going to go into eveyones home to make sure they are laundered? Your Ignorance shows in your writing.

      • Nope. People wash their underwear don’t they. I don’t know about you but I do.

    • I got mine years ago, from a bank booth, at a business convention. I’ve never washed it……..mean to but it’s always stored in the trunk of my car for when I go shopping.

  • Bag ban must be removed. How stupid is our Assembly?

    • Not at all. This has something to do w/ the plastic bag mfg’s wanting to get their product back in use. The reality is that paper bags accomplish the same trick and aren’t needing to be laundered or returned to the store for re-use.

      Run that one by the plastic bag ranters and see what they have to say.

  • The germs can live on plastic much longer than cloth.

  • What?? Reverse the ban and have the assembly admit they were wrong? Never happen. Opinion, of course. Watch & see what they do.

    • Most of the “re-usable” bags I’ve seen were constructed of plastic / synthetic fibers… but, I guess the “woke” mr forkner and his cohorts in the assembly can fix that by banning them next, then at some point down the line they can specify the “geshtapo approved” “cloth” bags which will be allowed for us minions to use;)

  • Many of the grocery workers here in Anchorage have been instructed not to touch the bags anyways, just the merchandise. Bagging purchased items yourself is already a safe practice to protect the hard working individuals working at the stores we shop at. But this is just my opinion. However if general population says they would feel safer then by all means I am all for being safer then sorry.

    Stay safe everyone!

  • Calling those plastic bags we used to be allowed to use when we lived in America, “single use” was the first step in misrepresentation to allow “superior” thinkers to force their will upon the rest of us “unwashed masses”. I can’t recall any of my family and friends only using those bags only one time. In fact, the opposite was commonly observed. Everyone had a drawer, or bag, or box stashed somewhere in the house where they saved the bags for the second, third, or even more uses. They were used for lunch bags, sandwich bags, fishing tackle bags, overnight clothes bags, trash can liners, garbage bags in vehicles, craft projects, and on and on. Those “single use” bags never got used only a single time. How many times does a paper bag last for re-use? And how much impact to the environment making all these “re-usable” bags and paper bags is creating? And how many uses the average person actually gets out of their “re-usable” bags before they wind up gathering dust in the garage and get tossed during spring cleaning? The whole assembly needs to be voted out for pretending to have thought this through, and for jumping on a extremist bandwagon to further restrict our rights, and un-necessarily so at that.

  • Where’s the evidence reusable bags are any more dangerous than single use bags?

    • None. It can only live on a cloth bag for a few hours. A plastic bag….for days.

      • Greg Forkner you must be an ID#$%ot. You think the plastic bags come from the factory with the virus precontaminated. Your comments you keep writing here only shows your ignorance and stupidity!

      • Says who?

      • Cite source!

  • I don’t have a car and ride my bike the 2 miles each way to the store. I use a backpack and load the groceries myself. You are telling me that I shouldn’t be allowed to do that? How do I get my groceries home safely? And trying to bicycle with plastic bags hanging off the handlebars is not safe.

  • But but but….
    Liberals should be judged by their intentions not by results.

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