Plastic Bag Bans Put on Hold Over Concerns About the Cleanliness of Reusable Bags Amid Coronavirus Fears


By: - Climate DepotMarch 23, 2020 10:04 PM

https://www.ecowatch.com/plastic-bag-bans-coronavirus-2645571573.html?rebelltitem=2#rebelltitem2

By Jordan Davidson

A number of states and cities that implemented bans on plastic bags are putting them on hold over concerns about the cleanliness of reusable bags amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last week, the Massachusetts Food Administration asked Governor Charlie Baker to rescind bans on plastic bags in several towns over concerns that handling the reusable bags poses a threat to grocery store workers. While some viruses are known to survive in reusable shopping bags for up to nine days, there is no evidence so far that the novel coronavirus does, according to Patch.

Massachusetts’ neighbors seem to be following a similar trajectory. New York State, which implemented its plastic bag ban on March 1, has decided to hold off enforcement until at least May 15, according to the state’s Department of Conservation (DEC).

Despite the delay in enforcement, New York State still encourages shoppers to use reusable bags when shopping for their essentials.

DEC continues to encourage New Yorkers to transition to reusable bags whenever and wherever they shop and to use common sense precautions to keep their reusable bags clean,” said Erica Ringewald, spokeswoman for DEC, as the Brooklyn Eagle reported. “New York’s ban on single-use plastic bags went into effect as planned on March 1. Retailers across the state are complying.”