Several state and local governments have recently banned or taxed plastic grocery bags, but are these reusable bags making us sick? Ph.D. economist Jonathan Klick, says yes: “We just completed a paper that looks at the affect of plastic bag bans in California, particularly in San Francisco and some other smaller jurisdictions, on the affect of food-borne illnesses. The idea being that when people switch to reusable bags this may lead to some kinds of contamination. And we find that emergency room admissions for food-borne illness spike after these bans go into effect, suggesting that there may be a link there that jurisdictions should look into before they pass these bans in the future.”

Read more about the study at PERC, where Dr. Klick is a Lone Mountain Fellow.


  • Craig Rucker

    Craig Rucker is a co-founder of CFACT and currently serves as its president.