By Richard Rushfield
They say our government can’t accomplish anything in this state/county/city. Well, that’s just nonsense. They may not be able to build anything but they sure as shootin’ can ban things. Lots of things.
In May the City Council voted 13 to 1 to ban plastic bags from LA supermarkets. Thirteen to uno! Take that plastic bags! If that’s not government in action I don’t know what is. Starting next year, plastic bags are going to be as rare in Los Angeles as uncrushed dreams, thriving businesses or well paved streets.
LA has taken back the environment. All by ourselves. The only downside: a potential deadly outbreak of e-coli poisoning. The Property and Environment Research Center, a Montana based group dedicated to“improving environmental quality through property rights and markets” studied the health impact on San Francisco after their plastic bag ban went into effect. They found:
in the wake of San Francisco’s ban, deaths and ER visits related to these bacteria spiked as soon as the ban went into effect.
In interviews, it was found that reusable bags are seldom if ever washed and often used for multiple purposes. Large numbers of bacteria were found in almost all bags and coliform bacteria in half. Escherichia coli were identified in 8% of the bags, as well as a wide range of enteric bacteria, including several opportunistic pathogens. When meat juices were added to bags and stored in the trunks of cars for two hours, the number of bacteria increased 10-fold, indicating the potential for bacterial growth in the bags. Hand or machine washing was found to reduce the bacteria in bags by > 99.9%. These results indicate that reusable bags, if not properly washed on a regular basis, can play a role in the cross-contamination of foods.
Hey, but e-coli, death, deadly car trunks…Isn’t this all getting away from the point? Our government got all together and did something. They passed a ban all by themselves without any help from us. So we can sit here throwing stones, or we can say, good for you City Council! How about some meat juice with your milk and cookies?