Plastic bag bans aren’t helping us fight against coronavirus

Before the novel coronavirus pandemic hit, warnings about potential public health consequences of banning single-use plastics in the name of environmental protection fell on deaf ears. But now people are wisely calling on lawmakers in New York, California, and other states and localities to reverse bans and regulations on single-use plastic grocery bags. Reusable bags can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 and other pathogens.

Research shows that reusable bags harbor dangerous microorganisms. In fact, the sanitary nature of single-use plastics is one of the key reasons these products have become so prevalent, in addition to the fact that they require less energy and make less pollution in production than alternatives. Problems related to plastics in the environment can and should be addressed by proper disposal policies and litter control, rather than through policies that undermine public health.

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