Glendale residents, if you love your plastic shopping bags, then now may be the time to learn to do without them. Soon, Glendale will not see very many plastic bags. Will this ban be a good one for the community?
Can a Plastic Bag Ban Bring on E. Coli?
While the plastic bag ban may be healthier for the environment, it may not be necessarily healthy for the shoppers. In 2007, San Francisco started a plastic bag ban. Shortly after, deaths from Escherichia coli based food poisoning rose 50 percent, while visits to the emergency room for E. coli poisoning rose 34 percent. How is that for saving the earth?
Of course, the E. coli poisoning issues were caused from individuals not taking extra care when carrying their food. While many are enthusiastic about using reusable bags for their groceries, they are not as diligent about cleaning their bags regularly. In fact, many individuals commonly held their raw meat and fresh produce together in the same bag.
You can reduce your risk of food poisoning by simply washing out your bags after each shopping trip. Also, it is very wise to invest in different colored bags and use one for each food group. For example, keep all of your raw meat in a red bag, and all of your fresh produce in a green bag. Furthermore, even if you segregate your produce from your raw meat, it is still very wise to wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly before consumption.
Glendale’s Plastic Bag Ban
The plastic bag ban is said to be effective in July at all venues that make more than two million dollars in annual sales and stores of ten thousand square feet or more. By January 2014, smaller stores, markets, and liquor stores will be required to follow the plastic bag ban as well. However, recyclable paper bags will be available for purchase for ten cents each.
Environmental Benefits to Reducing Plastic Bags
While banning plastic bags from all markets may seem like an inconvenience, the benefits are quite remarkable. Plastic bags are the reason for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of marine animals each year. Also, the United States’ plastic bag usage costs up to twelve million barrels of petroleum each year. The pros definitely outweigh the cons in this situation.
So is the Glendale plastic bag ban a good idea? It most certainly is, but only if people can protect themselves from E. coli outbreaks. Remember, use recyclable bags to protect the earth, but wash them regularly to protect yourself.