The Washington Post

Do plastic bags do more good than harm?

Forget everything you think you know about plastic bags vs. reusable bags. Because if National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) senior fellow Sterling Burnett. is right, plastic bags are better for the environment, better for the economy and better for your health — all thanks to certain unintended consequences such as the spread of salmonella from uncleaned reusable bags.

Burnett makes some interesting counter-intuitive arguments that challenge some of the basic assumptions underlying plastic bag bans in places like Seattle and Pasadena.

One problem: If convincingdata exist to support his claims, Burnett doesn’t share it.

Allen McDuffee writes about politics and policy and covered think tanks for The Washington Post from 2011 to 2013. He freelances and hosts a podcast at and is currently working on a book about the influence of think tanks in Washington.


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