Massachusetts joined New Hampshire in banning reusable bags and freeing one-use plastic and paper grocery bags over concerns that they were threatening public health during the coronavirus epidemic.
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican, banned reusable grocery bags and explicitly cited concerns that they could help spread the virus currently ravaging countries around the globe.
“Our grocery store workers are on the front lines of COVID-19, working around the clock to keep New Hampshire families fed,” said Sununu in a statement. “With identified community transmission, it is important that shoppers keep their reusable bags at home given the potential risk to baggers, grocers and customers.”
On Wednesday, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker also liberated plastic bags from their dishonorable exile.
“From now on, reusable bags are prohibited and all regulations on plastic bag bans are lifted,” said Baker.
The temporary order also banned stores from charging for plastic or paper bags.
While many local and state governments banned plastic bags out of environmental concerns, many studies have shown that these bans are ineffective, and some show that they result in even worse outcomes for the environment.