Plastic bag ban leads to more shoplifting

Plastic bag ban leads to more shoplifting

When the Seattle City Council unanimously passed a ban on plastic bags and required businesses to charge a nickel for paper bags, city leaders believed it would be better all around.

“I think we’ve gotten to a place where it’s really going to work for the environment, businesses and the community in general,” Councilman Mike O’Brien said at the time.

But the bag ban is contributing to thousands of dollars in losses for at least one Seattle grocery store, and questions have been raised about the risk of food-borne illness from reusable bags that shoppers don’t often wash.

Mike Duke, who operates the Lake City Grocery Outlet with his wife, said that since the plastic-bag ban started last July, he’s lost at least $5,000 in produce and between $3,000 and $4,000 in frozen food.

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