Back in 2007, San Francisco became the first major city in the nation to ban the use of plastic bags. This form of environmental extremism was widely applauded by our betters in the woke community. After London Breed took over as interim mayor in 2017, she proceeded to double down on the policy, jacking up the prices that stores would need to charge customers who didn’t bring their own reusable bags into stores. But now, faced with the realities of the coronavirus, the city’s leaders have realized that excessive environmentalism isn’t always compatible with the realities of the world we live in today. As such, the ban has been not only lifted but reversed. Reusable bags are now banned in the City by the Bay. (The Hill)
San Francisco is banning reusable shopping bags to prevent outside germs from entering grocery stores as the coronavirus pandemic affects cities around the country,
The new ordinance from the San Francisco Department of Public Health aims to reinforce existing social distancing protocols by restricting customers from bringing their own bags, mugs, or other reusable items to essential stores, according to a statement.
San Francisco was one of the first cities in the U.S. to ban the use of plastic shopping bags in 2007 to reduce the environmental impact caused by plastic waste, according to SFGate.com.
San Francisco isn’t the first place to do this. As we previously discussed, Maine, New York and Massachusetts have all either suspended their plastic bag bans or halted enforcement of the regulations.
Not that I expect anyone on the left to take any lasting lessons from this experience, but it’s worth noting the downstream effects of this sort of micromanagement of how citizens conduct their private affairs. It’s been 13 years since the ban went into place. In that time, stores have stopped buying so many disposable bags of all types. They don’t stockpile them anymore because people aren’t supposed to be using them.
Now the policy has been reversed overnight and shoppers can’t bring their reusable bags to the stores. It’s not at all unlikely that stores will be running out of disposable bags in short order and it will take time to restock. So people looking to go out and purchase whatever food remains on the shelves may find themselves with no options for carrying their groceries to their environmentally-friendly electric cars.
This was a case of one overreaction being followed more than a dozen years later by another one. Did it have to be this way? The cloth shopping bags that we’ve been using are washable. And it’s already been established that the coronavirus is very susceptible to a simple application of soap and hot water. Couldn’t the municipal government simply advise people to wash their bags after each trip to the market? Or are we not mature enough to take even those types of basic precautions?
Remember, people… when plastic bags are outlawed, only outlaws will have plastic bags. And San Francisco is in the process of generating an entire generation of outlaws.