The Most Upsetting Thing About This Election – Grocery Bags

California voted to ban plastic grocery bags.  Seriously, this is infuriating.  Now I’ll have to lug a bunch of reusable bags around or pay a 10 cent surcharge for each paper bag.  I can’t believe a majority of people in CA voted for this nonsense.  This also means I’ll have to make double the trips back and forth from my car to my apartment every shopping trip, since paper bags don’t have handles which allow me to hang numerous bags off each arm. It’s just an all-round pain the ass.

Reusable bags are a cesspool of disease. Even the uber-liberal USA Today ran an article on just how filthy the average reusable shopping bag is.  Ryan Sinclair of the Loma Linda University School of Public Health, is quoted as saying they were about as sanitary as “the bottom of your shoe.”

The article goes on to note that most people place the bags in the baby carrier of the shopping cart, which is, according to Sinclair, “the most contaminated public surface you ever come in contact with.”  Sinclair did a study on reusable bag contamination, which found bacteria in 99% of the bags tested; half carried coliform bacteria while 8% carried E. coli, an indicator of fecal contamination.

Sinclair found that the vast majority of people who use reusable bags don’t wash them and don’t seem to care about getting a potentially deadly infection.  A fact which further goes to prove why democracy is a dumb idea.  People who are this retarded make up the majority of the electorate.  Democracy is like putting monkeys in charge of a mafia and expecting a positive long term outcome.

When San Francisco banned the bags at the city level, they saw a massive spike in e-coli infections.  One study found a 46 percent increase in deaths from foodborne illness in the three months after the bag ban went into effect in 2007.

Critics say this study didn’t separate out who was using reusable bags, but the authors point out that 76,000,000 cases of foodborne illness occur in the U.S. annually. Since almost all occur in the home, pinpointing to a “reusable bag” would be difficult.  The bags can spread illness simply by being swiped across the checkout aisle, thereby infecting people who don’t use the bags.

Just to be clear, there are absolutely no studies saying plastic bag bans have no impact on disease rates.  Any critic who wants to dismiss the studies I cited above needs to prove otherwise.  So far, there’s no data that contradicts these findings.  Apparently not many researchers are interested in studying this vector of disease transmission.

This Today article also notes that reusable bags prompt people to buy more junk food, which is just what America needs – more fat people.  Apparently when self-righteous people buy the bags because of their mistaken assumption they are saving the planet, they load up on junk to reward themselves for their great deed to humanity.

Even the uber-liberal Atlantic ran an article pointing out a study that found conventional plastic bags made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE, the plastic sacks found at grocery stores) had the smallest per-use environmental impact of all those tested.

Further, most people reuse the plastic grocery bags.  A study done by APCO which surveyed 502 people found that 92% reused the bags they brought home from the store for such things as trash disposal, lunch bags and cleaning up after pets.  The APBA cites 65% reuse.  Either way, this fact isn’t accounted for in most comparisons of bag types and their environmental cost.

Another often over-looked problem that comes with bag bans is that, since people are now walking into stores with their own bags, rates of shoplifting can be expected to increase.  According to a Seattle Public Utility survey, 21.1% of store owners reported an increased rate of shoplifting after Seattle’s ban went into effect.  Obviously this cost will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher grocery prices.

Overall, I’d say this one proposition will probably end up killing more people than Trump ever will.  God save us from ourselves.

  • Christan

    Plastic bags are a pain. I remember them in sticking to everything in the desert when I lived there. Paper bags we used to have are to expensive now. Too many people going to the stores it would devastate the forests. Legal industrial hemp could solve the problem.

  • sona

    You know, the homeless here use plastic bags to stay warm, and we actually pass them out in the winter. 😕 I reuse them as garbage liners for small trash cans and even for making small quantities of special compost. 😞

    Side note – dripping meat in reusable bag. I’ll let everyone think about that one.