EU Pushing to raise prices on plastic shopping bags to ‘encourage’ re-use

Another shining example of the European nanny state running amok:

Fewer Single-Use Bags in the Future?

The idea behind the higher price tag is that manufacturers would be more likely to produce sturdier plastic bags designed for multiple uses, and that consumers would be willing to pay for this privilege. The charge should be increased over time, the study says, so that pricing remains uncomfortable and people do not grow accustomed to low prices. It estimates that all EU citizens would use an average of only 39 bags per year by 2020, an 80 percent decline. It is unclear what the impact of such changes would be on the plastic bag producers and their employees.

Another case of going green without thinking. Via MCT (July 10th, 2010):

Most folks don’t give the hygiene of their reusable bags any thought, but according to a new study from researchers at the University of Arizona and Loma Linda University, they should.

The study, “Assessment of the Potential for Cross Contamination of Food Products by Reusable Shopping Bags,” found that nearly all (97%) of shoppers who use reusable bags do not regularly (if ever) clean them. Furthermore, most of us freely mix meats, vegetables, and other foods in the same bag, and don’t think twice about it.

According to the study, “Reusable bags, if not properly washed between uses, create the potential for cross-contamination of foods. This potential exists when raw meat products and foods traditionally eaten uncooked (fruits and vegetables) are carried in the same bags, either together or between uses. This risk can be increased by the growth of bacteria in the bags.”

Good thing, most EU countries have socialized medicine to combat the spike in food poisoning this rule would create.