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San Francisco, one of first cities to ban plastic bags, now bans reusable grocery bags amid coronavirus outbreak

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One certainty when it comes to the moral panic that leads to decisions such as banning plastic bags is that the feel-good alternatives proposed often prove to present its own set of problems.

Another certainty is that decisions pushed by omnipotent moral busybodies will often come full circle, as was seen this week in San Francisco when the city banned reusable shopping bags to help prevent “unnecessary contact” amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The San Francisco Department of Public Health is looking to restrict customers from bringing their own bags, mugs, or other reusable items to essential stores, according to The Hill.

new ordinance intent on reinforcing existing social distancing protocols added more guidelines, such as eliminating self-serve options at stores, bulk item food bins, and in cases where contactless payment systems are not feasible, sanitizing payment systems regularly.

And the ban on reusable bags — the irony here being that San Francisco was one of the first cities in the United States to ban plastic shopping bags, which happened in 2007, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

San Francisco’s Democratic Mayor London Breed also announced Wednesday that the stay-at-home order for residents has been extended until May 3.

“I can’t reiterate enough how important it is for all of us to continue to comply, for all of us to continue to be good citizens, to cooperate,” Breed said.

The liberal mayor is seen tearing up below as she talked about people helping people amid the emotional toll of dealing with the Chinese virus COVID-19 — now if the liberal city can only get people to stop crapping in the streets.

Route Fifty reported last week that other cities have already lifted bans on plastic bags or have ordered that reusable bags not be used.

In Maine, lawmakers halted the implementation of a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags until 2021, while officials in New York said they would not begin enforcing a planned moratorium on plastic bags until at least May. New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu halted the use of reusable bags in his state via an emergency health order, which he said was necessary due to confirmed community transmission of the virus in New Hampshire. […]

In Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker banned reusable bags and lifted local bans on disposable bags, saying that stores and pharmacies would no longer be allowed to charge fees for paper or plastic bags at checkout lines. Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said he would lift his state’s plastic-bag tax, but was not considering a ban on reusable bags.


Here’s a quick sampling of responses to the story from Twitter, to include Grover Norquist, the founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform, talking about the “price of virtue signaling.”

Tom Tillison


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