Readers pile on Katherine Mangu-Ward for overstating the “yuck factor” for canvas grocery bags:
You know what’s gross? Not washing your reusable bags when you put things into them that leak. You know, like any vaguely hygienic person would do. Note that Reason failed to mention that washing bags essentially eliminates bacteria.
On the other hand, you know what isn’t gross? Being able to bike down the side of the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers and not see huge accumulations of plastic bags. Not having random bags blowing down the street in front of my house. Not having a grocery bag full of other grocery bags that “I swear I’ll reuse these someday” that I then throw away.
Wash your damn reusable bags, people. But use them.
Another agrees – using a GIF:
As to Mangu-Ward’s imaginative anecdote regarding a “leaky package of chicken” – two comments:
Where does she purchase her incredibly loosely packaged chicken and why wasn’t it placed flat on the bottom of the bag so it doesn’t move around? I’ve never had this leaky meat problem. If I did, I would just throw them in the washing machine.
Another reader lacking a leaky meat problem:
You know what’s gross? Clothes. Think about it: you put pieces of cloth on your body and sweat on them, or get food all over them. Then you take off your clothes, crumple them up, and toss them on the floor in the corner of your closet to fester. A week later, you go wear them again and stick your junk right against the same cloth. Ew.
Oh, what’s that? You can wash clothes? They even have “washing machines” that will wash clothes for you? That’s brilliant. I wonder what else you could wash in a washing machine …
I live in Austin, home of hippies who love these bag bans. When these people can’t even wash themselves, how can we expect them to wash the bags? And here in Austin, the bags from the most popular grocery store become useless when you wash them because the cardboard that makes the bag bottoms rigid is destroyed. I see the people in line next to me and they aren’t washing their bags – or their pits.
Update from a subscriber:
I love hanging around your readers. They teach me things. But something they just crack me up. It’s like a really good Thanksgiving dinner with relatives you can actually stand and are even proud to be seen with.