Republican Senator Doug Ericksen (Ferndale) has urged Gov. Jay Inslee to veto the 'single use' plastic shopping bag statewide ban that the legislature passed this session.

Despite extensive opposition from East Side legislators, some on the West and the retail industry, Seattle-area Democrats pushed through the ban.

Now Ericksen, on behalf of others, is pointing out if Inslee is serious about curbing the spread of COVID-19 and future such pathogens, he needs to veto the ban.

Ericksen released a statement aimed at Inslee supporting this premise, due to the COVID-19 'shutdowns' in our state:

“Many governments in Washington and throughout the United States have recently changed their policies on an emergency basis to discourage customers from bringing reusable bags into stores during the COVID-19 pandemic because viruses can be carried on dirty bags. Indeed, as we all try to find better ways to prevent spreading diseases to our neighbors, the case against banning single-use plastic bags is only growing stronger. The grocery store workers who handle people’s groceries – workers who are essential under your recent proclamation – are especially vulnerable when people reuse unwashed bags."

Some communities such as Seattle and Olympia have already had bag bans for a couple of years. But numerous studies have shown the reusable bags, if not constantly washed and cleaned, are a 'petri' dish for bacteria and other germs that develop from flakes and trace amounts of vegetables, fruits and other perishable items carried in the bags. Nationwide, a 'backlash' against reusable bags is growing, mainly due to COVID-19.

As far back as 2014, even mainstream media outlets such as USA Today reported the health concerns over such bags, not to mention the additional cost to consumers as well as the environment. It actually takes more trees, water and creates far more pollutants to create these and the original 'paper' bags used for years in stores.

To see the USA Today story, click on the button below.

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