More unintended consequences:
Recently, many jurisdictions have implemented bans or imposed taxes upon plastic grocery bags on environmental grounds. San Francisco County was the first major US jurisdiction to enact such a regulation, implementing a ban in 2007. There is evidence, however, that reusable grocery bags, a common substitute for plastic bags, contain potentially harmful bacteria. We examine emergency room admissions related to these bacteria in the wake of the San Francisco ban. We find that ER visits spiked when the ban went into effect. Relative to other counties, ER admissions increase by at least one fourth, and deaths exhibit a similar increase.
I’m never surprised when environmentalist policies kill people, because many of them hate people, but in this case, it probably is an unintended consequence. Because they never think these things through. Manhattan Beach passed one of these idiot bans recently, but at least they can still use paper bags. Of course, it didn’t affect Trader Joe’s at all. And I usually shop in Redondo, where Albertson’s still offers plastic.
And yes, I know that the problem is mitigated by washing the canvas bags each time. How many people want to do that (plus having to remember to take them)?