First it was an increase in E. coli caused by reusable cloth or non-woven bags after plastic bags were banned in San Francisco. Now, we learn that in Seattle the bag ban in that city, instituted in 2012, is being blamed for a big increase in retail theft.
According to an article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (“Store Owners Say Plastic Bag Ban Causes More Shoplifting” by Casey McNerthney), the reusable cloth or non-woven bags consumers now carry in that city make it much easier to shoplift. The article points out that many shoppers enter stores with these reusable bags that may contain items purchased in another store. “Even with loss-prevention officers and many security cameras, stores are finding it difficult to distinguish between items that a customer has paid for and items that the customer may have brought with them,” writes McNerthney....