Single-use plastics are cheaper, have a lower carbon footprint than so-called replacements, and are better for the environment and public health. Points we’ve been making for close to a decade. Issues that, in a global pandemic, should prove to be the death knell for Democrat’s incessant desire to ban them.
To review: There are no islands of plastic in the ocean. What plastic there is comes primarily from Asia, so bans here will only inconvenience us for no measurable improvement. Many plastics eventually breakdown and are digested in the seas without any environmental harm. The things we are supposed to embrace in place of plastic have higher front and back end carbon costs, which to the Left, in every other current of our lives, is supposed to matter. And, as noted in the opening, reusable products have always created a higher health risk – which has its own significant carbon footprint, not to mention the threat to public health and safety.
Pandemic Dempanic drives that last point home. One of the first things to happen from sea to shining sea was a ban on reusable cups and mugs. Why? Germs. The risk of cross-contamination from one surface to another or one person to many others. A problem, as Drew Cline writes at The Josiah Bartlett for Public Policy.
Forcing people to carry reusable food and beverage containers in public could accelerate the spread of microbes that cause infectious diseases, multiple academic studies suggest, the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy shows in a new policy briefing paper.
The paper, read it here, lists studies and data proving the point over and over. One we have been making for close to a decade. Disposables are essential to good public health because reusable containers, if not properly cleaned and sanitized after every use, allow bacteria to flourish, which can then make you or your family members ill. Sometimes, with mortal consequences.
Norovirus, which killed a patron of Congressman Chris Pappas’ Manchester restaurant, can be a scourge in reusable grocery bags that have not been adequately cleaned. Cleaning to ensure sanitation adds a greater environmental cost to use as well as expanding their already significant carbon footprint. As does hospital stays and treatment for unnecessary illness.
Add the financial costs, and it should seem like settled science.
Disposables are not some arrogant throw-away elitists expression of western culture. They are essential to ensuring public health and safety; a solution that needs to expand across the globe, not contract.
The End is Near?
The Coronavirus may well be the end of reusable (refillable) cups and mugs. I happen to think that is a decision best left up to businesses, consumers, and individuals. What should die are the endless efforts by the left and their virtue-signaling on disposable plastics.
Legislators also need to get their meddling hands out of the business of what sort of disposable containers are permissible. The alternatives they promote are worse for “their environment” than the plastic they keep trying to replace. In short, everything the left claims to want on this issue is a step backward from their own stated goals. Are they stupid or liars? A bit of both, I’d wager.
Whether you are a legislator looking for ammo to defend the people from petty tyranny or a citizen looking to defend the people from petty legislators, The Josiah Bartlett Study is short, well-referenced, and worth your time.