San Francisco gets it; Anchorage does not
The good news: A city is moving to ban reusable shopping bags to prevent coronavirus from reaching grocery carts and counters.
The bad news: It is not Anchorage.
The San Francisco Department of Public Health is barring customers from bringing their own bags, mugs, or other reusable items to essential stores. Like grocery stores. It should be noted the City by the Bay was not only a leader in the war on one-time-use plastic bags, but in 2007 was one of the first cities in the U.S. to ban them.
In Anchorage, a ban on the one-use plastic bags remains solidly in effect despite the obvious health risks. Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz did, however, suspend the city’s ridiculous 10-cent fee for disposable paper bags in retail establishments, such as grocery stores. We feel so much safer.
The fee was supposed to browbeat us into using grocery-supplied paper bags or bringing our own reusable bags to stores to rid the land of the one-use plastic bags that were introduced years ago to save trees and prevent the extinction of critters such as spotted owls.
Three Bears grocery stores temporarily have banned reusable bags because of the health risks. The Anchorage Assembly should move to do the same and ban use of reusable bags in critical locations and allow the one-time-use plastic bags.