Pandemic Prompts Call To Suspend Or Repeal Bag Bans & Taxes

Grocery store employees are on the front lines in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus. They will play an important role in helping millions of people get through the unprecedented weeks and months ahead in America and across the globe. These critical and vulnerable workers shouldn’t be forced to handle reusable shopping bags that scientific researchers have found can act as Petri dishes for bacteria and carriers of harmful pathogens. Yet that is the result of well-meaning but misguided laws on the books in states and localities across the U.S.

The eight states where lawmakers have imposed plastic bag prohibitions are California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, New York, Oregon and Vermont, according the National Conference of State Legislatures. Six of those statewide bag bans were enacted as recently as 2019. Hundreds of cities, towns, and counties have also imposed a bag ban or tax. All of these laws seek to force or encourage the use of reusable shopping bags, which pose a public health risk at any time and especially during the current pandemic.

Read the full opinion piece on Forbes.