States, cities, and stores have changed their tune over the past few months, lifting plastic bag bans and restricting the use of reusable bags. Even California, the pacesetter of the anti-plastic movement, has suspended its 4-year-old ban after certain studies have suggested that reusable bags, when not cleaned properly, can become veritable Petri dishes for bacteria and the like. In order to better protect their workers and customers, retail, grocery, and plastic industry advocates have rallied for plastics to be reinstated at least for the time being.
Click below to hear the full interview -
In the interview, Keller points to environmentalists and other ban advocates who’ve called studies linking reusable bags to increased disease spread dubious. They note that reusable bags are not necessarily any more or less contaminated than other surfaces at stores. Keller also argues that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the World Health Organization (WHO) have all given guidance supporting the notion that reusable bags don’t pose a health threat.
In a letter to San Francisco Bay Area health officers, Keller and a coalition of business owners, nonprofits, academics, and concerned citizens urged for the current reusable bag restrictions to not become permanent. In this podcast, Keller goes over the letter and calls out the contradictions in allowing plastics to be used during the pandemic.