When the Seattle City Council unanimously passed a ban on plastic bags and required businesses to charge a nickel for paper bags, city leaders believed it would be better all around.
"I think we've gotten to a place where it's really going to work for the environment, businesses and the community in general," Councilman Mike O'Brien said at the time.
But the bag ban is contributing to thousands of dollars in losses for at least one Seattle grocery store, and questions have been raised about the risk of food-borne illness from reusable bags that shoppers don't often wash.
... the shoplifters' patterns are difficult to detect.
They enter the store with reusable bags and can more easily conceal items they steal. The reusable bags require staff to watch much more closely, and even though the store has a loss-prevention officer and more than a dozen security cameras, it's tough to tell what a customer has paid for and what they may already have brought with them.Of course, the geniuses who promoted the idea pretended not to notice (hey, it's not like it's THEIR money);
According to data released in January by Seattle Public Utilities, 21.1 percent of business owners surveyed said increased shoplifting because of the plastic bag ban was a problem. Results of another survey released in January – one done by an environmental advocacy group that found the ban "popular and successful" – didn't mention the problem of shoplifting.And, it's unhealthy to boot;
San Francisco was the first major U.S. city to ban plastic grocery bags in 2007. Multiple research papers have said there are negative repercussions to public health, though supporters question or discount the findings. One study released late last summer cited emergency room treatment data and said after the bag ban began there was a spike in the number of E. coli cases and an increase of deaths from foodborne illnesses.