San Francisco bans reusable bags in coronavirus fight

From 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 Mayor London Breed (D) on Wednesday extended stay-at-home orders for the public, running 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.

Full article here.

100 thoughts on “San Francisco bans reusable bags in coronavirus fight

  1. So now they are on record unquestionably asserting: reusable = infection spreader.

    Couldn’t tort lawyers get San Francisco in court for past epidemics possibly spread by reusable bags?

    • 30 to 40 thousands deaths in a typical flu season. Seems we could get a good class action suit going

    • These people have more knee-jerk-reactions than a marionette with jitters.
      Could they simply be using this as an excuse of convenience to reverse a previously poor decision to require the use of reusable bags, which only increased the amount of plastic entering the landfills.

      • When I was a pup we had this thing called wisdom. We were taught to admire and emulate the wise. We learned poems like If by Rudyard Kipling.

        It’s a long time since I heard anyone talk about wisdom. It’s been replaced by the bloviations of the Intellectual yet Idiot (IYI) crowd.

        I miss wisdom. Am I imagining it or did I really go through the entirety of my post secondary education without hearing the word ‘wisdom’ even once.

        Jordan Peterson takes a good crack at defining wisdom. link

        • Thanks for the link to “If”, commieBob. I don’t recall ever reading it before. And thanks also for the other links, too.

          Stay safe and healthy,
          Bob

        • allow me to add reason and logic. The latter was a prerequisite college course for all majors back when Wisdom was the driving force behind getting an education.

          Now college is simply Advanced Indoctrination and not surprisingly Logic courses are not even an elective.

    • Where I live, they banned single use plastic bags so the merchants got rid of them. Now, the grocery stores (just about the only place still open) are scrambling to get a supply of bags in the middle of the crisis.

      • SF has the same problem, only their single use bags have been banned for 13 years. No longer can use the resuable ones and nobody (except Costco) has the plastic ones. Wonder how their supply of paper bags is? Cheers –

    • Plastic bags are evil, unless the consumer pays a tax on them.
      Then they are A-OK.
      Unless there’s a pandemic.
      Then they’re evil again…

      One of our stores brought out the good ole paper bags.

      • G’Day Jim G: those “good ole paper bags”.

        The history of the paper bag, as we know it today, and sometimes called a self opening sack is interesting. A Miss Knight – an inventor/engineer – had a bit to do with it. When she died she had 87 patents to her credit. I know Wikipedia is a nasty word around here, but their “Paper Bag” seems to be uncontaminated. Just a couple of minutes of ‘I didn’t know that’ history…..

  2. How quickly bain comes back to people when their lives are really on the line. Let’s see how long this one lasts but finally, people get a taste of what life is without the basic comforts. Wanna know what life without fossil fuels will be like. Remember COVID-19 and put plenty of steroids into that. Just imagine you get surgery – how about doing that on REpower only?

      • No, it’s oil. Petroleum refineries crack-down heavier fractions to make ethylene which is the feedstock for polyethylene. Could you make ethylene from methane? Yes, but now you’re pushing the chemistry uphill which takes more energy. Also, oil is cheaper than natural gas on most days.

  3. First, they ban Hygenic ‘single-use’ plastic bags because people throw them about carelessly and then suddenly they panic and realise that the replacement reusable shopping bags carry germs and viruses about and into the food stores. There is no deep thinking going on here and what thinking there is, is highly destructive. This is the same shallow thinking that allowed the ‘Global Warming/Climate Change’ nonsense to get a grip.

    • Now, how long until they realize that single use straws in a paper sleeve are by far the most sanitary way to consume liquids?
      Lips never touch container where hands have been.
      And are those straws really what pollution is?
      We used to call it littering, and told people not to do and had a hefty fine, and littering was rare.
      Somewhere along the line, the lefties that love to scream at people became the messiest slobs on Earth, and only a ban keeps things out of their hands that they can make messes with. But they demonstrate everywhere they go that there are a million ways to be messy and a slob.
      How long before we have disposable rubber gloves and face masks littering up all the big cities?
      After leftist rallies and gatherings…it is ibvious…they all consider the whole world a trash bin. Who throws trash on the ground?

  4. San Francisco is the first major city to ban reusable bags. Weren’t the also the first to ban single-use bags?

    • Rebels with a cause… They adapt with large step sizes and are prone to overshooting the mark, often with catastrophic results. The last time this happened was the HIV/AIDS pandemic, where political congruence (“=”) created a stigma so that trans/homo males could not easily moderate their pride and walk back from their orientation and lifestyle. And, of course, one-child… selective-child. #WickedSolution

    • Ban plastic bags
      Then ban reusable bags (and other stuff)
      The next step – tomorrow? – is to ban people
      They need to start that new ban with the ‘leaders’

    • They do like banning things, dont they?

      Power and control, moving the minions on the chess board of life, they just love it.

  5. So if Reusable Bags are banned and Single Use Plastic bags are banned (so they don’t get binned) I guess we’re stuck with the Ever Shrinking Single Use Paper Bags. Since we can’t reuse them, will we still get charged for them??? AYUP!!!

    • Most “single use” bags are rarely only every used only once. Ever since I was a child we lined the trash containers with the old biodegradable brown paper bags. Shortly came the TV marketing campaign where housewives had to contend with paper bags that leaked and often shredded as you carried them to the outside bin, oh the horrors! Then we got hooked on plastic trash bags, which preceded the lightweight so-called single use plastic bags, which still had their off-the-books secondary usage.
      So now we come full circle yet again.

    • I re-use my paper bags at the grocery store, since they instituted a $0.10 fee. It’s the principle, you know?

      • I generally carry what I can, or just use the cart and the car if it more than a handful.

        But I also have a couple of folded paper bags for credit, not for use. It’s the principle (and 300 store trips x 0.05 = $15 since the ban).

      • Don’t try to reuse the in a trash can/bin with wet material. Pick up bag, get bag sides only with trash and bottom of bag still in bin. They don’t handle liquid well!

  6. Perhaps we should use Anti-Microbial plastic Glad Trash Bags
    Since they’re already Garbage Bags, You CAN throw them away

    • Tony Evers is another ‘weather cocking’ socialist democrat. When reality slaps them hard enough in the face, they may be amenable to reason-based decisions.

  7. What the idiot leftists on the left coast don’t understand is that those plastic bags are *not* single use. We had this discussion on here just a couple of days ago. Uses – line small room trash cans, pick up cat vomit and dog poop, cover side mirrors on cars when it’s going to snow or ice, use them as padding in boxes of cookies being sent to relatives and friends, The Marxists on the coast may be on the left of the political spectrum but most of them don’t have any left side brain cells. McGuyver must be a constant source of magic to them.

  8. Add this to the list of the LEFT being hoisted on their own petard.
    They remove free will for whatever the reason is, and it blows back on them.

    By the time the pandemic is over, everyone will be convinced that…
    1. Open borders are a menace.
    2. Globalization is a menace.
    3. Public transportation is a menace, while private cars keep families safe.
    4. Public schools are a menace.
    5. Homeschooling is great.
    6. Gun owners have fewer anxieties to deal with during a crisis.
    7. Hollywood is a bunch of nincompoops.
    8. The mainstream media is a useless menace.
    9. Communists can’t be trusted and are a menace.
    10. Capitalist enterprise reacts to emergencies faster and more efficiently, while the obstructionist bureaucracy is a menace.
    11. All essentials must be manufactured within our own borders.
    12. A businessman makes a better president than a career politician.

    • Mario L: excellent list! Probably we should only have a couple of thousand flu deaths a year were it not for illegal immigrants, resuable bags, etc.

    • “11. All essentials must be manufactured within our own borders.”

      That isn’t doable in almost all countries.

      But we can at least avoid making nearly all essential drugs (or their ingredients) inside China.

      • All Essentials, I think we agree, are things we need for national security reasons. Change ALL into most. In other words, if a country says, we are at war with you or we want leverage over you, and they don’t provide you with [fill in the blank].

    • “manufactured within our own borders”

      A great deal of the Joint strike fighter/F-35 isn’t even made in the US!

      So not even the military could accomplish that.

      • Good point, but that is the point that I was making… that will need to change for countries like China and the US.

      • Wrong, the US has everything it need within our borders, the only thing is the will to go and get them. Maybe we should not get Cobalt of somewhere that still used child labor. Yes our ore may not be as good and it will cost more to refine but the human cost and national risk will be less.

        • Link up with Canada . I suspect that its mineral resources are far from exhausted . The Sudbury area for example. According to the Canadian Encyclopedia , the mines , most famous for nickel also can produce , lead , cobalt , platinum and chalcogenides – all useful for renewables (lead is a component of metal- organic perovskite photovoltaics).

    • It is funny how a lot of liberal assumptions are taking a hit. My favorites are the ones about transit and school. The internet has already made schools obsolete except for indoctrination and electric cars are going to make transit by train obsolete as well.

      • You’re right and now, your automobile, which is infinitely flexible, continues to be of value. Imagine all those people living in SF now without a car? They are staying in the midst of the concentrated problems!

    • Add, large populations crammed into cities to minimize the use of automobiles, greatly increases the vulnerability of people to pandemics. Is there any city in the US with a population density even approaching that of NYC?

  9. One of the most pleasing aspects of this age is the speed in which bad Progressive policy is exposed as transparently bad Progressive policy, and is forced to be withdrawn.

    • True, the down side to the speed is that poorly conceived policy is also promulgated at faster rate as well.

  10. Every Nanny-state Liberal, do-gooder should put this on a sign in front of them every time they come up with a new policy,
    “It’s not what you don’t know that’s likely to get you in trouble. It’s what you think is true that ain’t.”

  11. We never got to see the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” despite the environmental myth.
    See WUWT, “Are we really choking the ocean with plastic? Tracing the creation of an eco-myth” by Larry Kummer, December 24, 2015.

  12. I seem to remember bringing up sanitation as an issue when they banned plastic bags in Oregon – a children’s initiative – pushed by the teachers.

    Attempting to solve a fictional problem, they create a real one.

    Again.

  13. Do they have stocks of single use plastic bags ? What do you do until stocks arrive from China? Is this an april fools joke?

  14. I knew a woman who was employed in the plastic bag industry in California. At the time of the ban she and many others were suddenly out of a job. This fact never entered the politicians minds as they wrote and enforced the legislation.

    • “This fact never entered the politicians minds as they wrote and enforced the legislation.”
      You are too kind.

      Yes it did enter their minds. They did not care. Think about the Green New Deal, same thing just like this shut down, and they will still want to cram it down into law.

          • I do… and they are not funny. They are sad. He’s demented. It appears like he believes he has something to say, but does not realize what lines to say and what they mean. It’s obvious he’s got some kind of dementia, but that is not why I think he would be a bad president.

        • Sadly: I agree, not only do they not care, they want it to be bad and they want to hang it around Trump’s head. The level of evil is so obvious, that I have a hard time thinking kindly of the people who vote for this tripe.

  15. Okay folks, s#$@ just got real!

    If San Francisco is chucking its neo-Malthusian hobby horse to the side, things really are grim!

  16. And SF stores are supposed to suddenly be able to provide thousands of plastic/paper bags that until now were forbidden?

    • Its where the original London Broil came from. They didn’t try to protect it like ‘swiss’ cheese and ‘champagne’, so the true Breed died out, went extinct a hundred & fifty years ago. (zinc is the 2nd most abundant metal in the body too; as such we aren’t zinc deprived).

      • 2nd most abundant transition metal.
        2nd most abundant trace metal.
        Present in over 300 enzymes, bound by over 3000 proteins, required in over 1000 transcription factors.
        Total amount in a human 2 to 4 grams.
        Toxic in excessive concentrations.
        Potent neurotoxin if zinc homeostasis is not tightly msintained.
        Zinc deficiency depresses immunity.
        Excess zinc does so even more.
        But there are for the most part only two ways people get poisoned by zinc: Occupational exposure, and misuse of suppliments.
        Like thinking if something is good, more must always be better.

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2872358/

  17. Thank God, of the Bible, for the fossil oils and gas that He put in the earth for us to use for plastics, fuel for oh so many things – especially relieving our work burden, and saving lives. Too bad the lefty lefts don’t understand Free Enterprise and Market Forces. What do they fall back on to save them when the hell they created breaks loose? Ans: Free Enterprise and Market Forces.

  18. Next, no one will be allowed to wear the same clothes more than once. Reusable clothing will now become mandatory.

    Then, you cannot use the same house more than once, and so, … you guessed it, … reusable housing will become mandatory. Wow, that’ll take a lot of energy, won’t it? Good to know we can fall back on fossil fuel.

    • You need to put a snark tag on it. If you don’t you truly are an idiot. Yes some people should throw their cloths away, those are the same people that don’t wash themselves, their cloths and their reusable shopping bags(the problem with the reusable bags is washing them uses more energy that a new plastic bags take to produce, so nothing is saved and much is to lose.) As to the unwashed I was once married to one such person, the mental health system does not help you or even give tools to get such a person help. So we got divorced and she is living on the public dollar, not helping anyone most of all herself(you would not want her with six feet of you long before the covid-19.) Yet the left thinks you have a right to be crazy and defecate on the streets as if than not a public health problem.

  19. If you are going to Fat Stan’s Disco be sure to wear single use plastic bags in your hair…

  20. Any law, regulation or public policy that is temporarily suspended during this pandemic should be permanently revoked.

  21. No plastic bags.
    No reusable bags.
    That leaves paper bags. (Made from trees.)
    What’s a tree-hugger to use?

      • Tree huggers can rejoice, but they won’t, in the use of tree farms. We use tree’s efficient regenerative capabilities to suck evil CO2 out of the air, then cut them down and make things with them that get buried after serving mankind or stay unburned for use in furniture or buildings, which has the effect of carbon sequestration —>everybody happy happy happy.

        But NOOOO…

  22. Sir David King was the genius behind Britain’s incredibly stupid climate policy as put into law in 2008 . In particular he got the Government to give tax incentives to promote the sale of diesels.
    https://www.thegwpf.com/ex-chief-scientist-our-advice-to-govt-on-preventing-global-warming-was-wrong/
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_Change_Act_2008
    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/uk-to-ban-new-gas-vehicles-diesel-cars-by-2035-2020-02-04
    The British academic science establishment have been strongly supportive of King and the UK Climate act .
    Nature , Nature Climate change and the BBC have been among the worlds chief promotors of King type misinformation for the last 25 years.

  23. Plastic bags are non toxic and virtually inert. They pose no threat to the environment. Have excellent potential as fuel for trash to energy. I live in suburban new jersey and don’t see them strew about, not even in the supermarket lot. Because a few people are pigs we all get penalized? that sounds juvenile. Plastic bags have a handle and are much easier to carry than paper. This is all about virtue signally and fake environmentalism caving to the greenie weenies.

  24. Imagine being touched by a reusable bag and liberals only now in a pandemic realizing the bags are filthy and carry germs.

    All to eliminate cheap and sanitary disposable bags. That people like.

  25. Reusable bags are just yet another example of the failure of central planning to address environmental problems (and energy). In the days of razor thin disposable bags, my shopping bags ALWAYS got reuse as dog poop bags, kitty littler bags, and waste basket liners. I still have the same needs. Ergo I now use heavy reusable bags for dog poop, kitty litter, and waste basket liners. This is an unintended consequence of central planning. It wasn’t supposed to work this way. I was supposed to reuse my shopping bags at the supermarket and find some other way (what way?) for alternative uses like dog poop, kitty litter, and wastebasket liners. OK there are commercial waste basket liners. But I have to buy them and I have already paid (a nominal amount) for the reusable shopping bag …

    I am thinking about, since we are all confined to our homes, writing and submitting a series of articles on the futility of central planning when it comes to energy and the environment. I would start with the CFL debacle and the triumph of the LED. My conversion to LED had less to do with inconsequential energy efficiency and more to do with the 10+ year expected life. I figured I have 130+ bulbs in my home. Incandescents last about a year, so I was changing a bulb about every 3 days. I had to keep a cabinet in the laundry room filled with replacement bulbs at all times. At last I am free. But the government was in bed with CFL manufacturers at the time to push the 5 year CFL bulb and I wanted the 10 year LED bulb. It was quite a journey. Government bureaucrats have less wisdom than the average Joe. Hence central planning always fails.

  26. Aurthor lazily offers link to a 20 page city ordinance as evidence in support of calling out hippocratical ironic stupitude. Dude(tte), how about narrowing to a page, paragraph, or section that supports your assertion?

    Reusing bags is a conservative, in its most basic understanding, idea. Waste not, want not. Is anyone really put out by the idea that that shopper six feet away and immediately in front of you is going to infect you with their NPR tote bag? What if it’s a reused paper bag? Are NRA tote bags ok? Get a grip.

    10 pennies per paper bag in CA. Governments of all kinds are going to suffer massive shortfalls in tax revenue. This order, if true, isn’t evidence of enviro hypocrisy, its pragmatism.

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