Regressing Progressivism: California Suspends Plastic Bag Ban Over Coronavirus Concerns

(AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
AP featured image
Irma Salazar, of Santa Ana, Calif., loads plastic grocery bags into her car, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014 in Santa Ana, Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation on Tuesday imposing the nation’s first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags.(AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Everything California has been doing for the last decade has been the exact opposite of what a state would want to do to be prepared for a global pandemic.  Our “progressive” government has regressed this state into a society that releases rapists to reduce the prison population but fines/arrests business owners for trying to move homeless tent cities off their properties.

The gig economy killer bill, AB5, decimated a million independent contractor jobs overnight…the kind of jobs that would have been ideal to promote during this pandemic crisis. The bill caused a nursing shortage – particularly respiratory therapists – and made jobs that could easily be done from home illegal. Just as Governor Newsom was begging Californians to work from home if they could, we simultaneously ended hundreds of thousands of work-from-home careers.

Our homeless policies (or lack thereof) have created a crime and health crisis that has reached critical mass. While Californians are being asked (forced) to isolate in their homes, the homeless population continues to increase and spread. Police are instructed to walk right by strung out addicts defecating and shooting up in the streets but arrest people skateboarding in parks or surfing. Parts of Los Angeles and San Francisco are filled with pestilence and filth. The situation on the streets of this state is a health hazard on any given good day…let alone these days.


Our education boondoggle has made it difficult to pivot to at-home learning.

Our antiquated and corrupted water system and electric grid leave us extremely vulnerable at a time when every single person is being asked to stay inside during the hottest, driest time of the year. It’s a recipe for brownouts and grid failures.

And then there’s the plastic bag ban – a ban that made no sense accept as a political move. Because we didn’t really ban plastic bags, we just banned those convenient, small, cheap, easily produced plastic bags. The public rationalization from the state was that the ban would reduce plastic waste but it’s been the opposite. There are still plastic bags available at the grocery store, but now they charge you ten cents per bag and the bags are bigger, thicker, and clunkier. They use up far more plastic and despite being touted as “reusable” they are not. Some people may take them back to the store one or two times over, but those original plastic bags were the bomb. Talk about reusable! They went into waste baskets and other receptacles. They were small and easy to tout around to reuse as doggy clean-up bags. They conformed to the shape of your groceries so you used fewer bags (the new, “reusable” ones are horrible for packing) and they were much lighter and much thinner.

Of course the real issue in the time of coronavirus is that everything needs to be sterilized and guidelines from the very people who forced the bag ban upon us make it impossible to reuse bags. It isn’t safe for employees or customers. Most stores have resorted to suspending the ten cent fee on the environmentally unfriendly “better” bags since we’ve now banned reusable bags in the name of public health.


In an act of unprecedented common sense, Governor Gavin Newsom announced he was signing an executive order on Thursday to suspend the plastic bag ban as a matter of public safety. He’s suspending it for 60 days after complaints from the California Grocer’s Association. Newsom’s order comes more than three weeks after officials in six counties in the Bay Area banned the use of reusable bags because of coronavirus transmission concerns.

Which, of course, prompts the question: if it’s safer for humans to be using the traditional plastic bags for sixty days, why not forever? Perhaps we can find some other ways of ensuring environmental safety without forcing Californians to be unnecessarily exposed to filth and viruses that obviously come from reusable bags.

Common sense…how does it work?


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