Bag ban could lead to fatalities says Seymour

File Photo.

ACT leader David Seymour says the government's decision to ban single use plastic bags could be killing up to 20 New Zealanders a year.

Mr Seymour said research in the US showed that people using reusable bags were susceptible to diseases such as campylobacter from chicken.

In August, the government announced it would rid the country of thin plastic bags by July next year.

Seymour says the decision was made too hastily and was putting New Zealanders at risk.

He based his claims on 2013 research from George Mason University that found five people a year die in San Francisco from food-related infections such as E Coli and campylobacter after using reusable bags contaminated with the disease.

San Francisco banned non-compostable bags in 2007.

The research concluded that any health costs associated with the ban of plastic bags in San Fransisco swamped any savings from reduced litter.

Seymour admitted plastic waste filling the oceans was a concern, but said the blame for that should lie with African and Asian countries, not New Zealand.

"The problem of New Zealanders letting go of their plastic shopping bags and them ending up in the ocean is a problem but an absolutely tiny one.

"It's not a problem that justifies the level of inconvenience and potential public health danger that comes from a ban on plastic bags," he says.

Seymour says people would be particularly at risk heading into barbeque season, carrying their chicken in reusable bags in warm cars.


common sense

Posted on 05-11-2018 17:53 | By ruralgal

Totally! wash the bag!!! You wouldn’t use a plate you had raw chicken for example on to serve your dinner on without washing it... common sense really. Come on people we just have to adapt to something that’s changing wether you like it or not it’s happening so stop complaining start adapting.


Posted on 05-11-2018 11:25 | By red

I’ll say again... Moron!

And he has a Degree

Posted on 03-11-2018 13:29 | By tabatha

This guy has an engineering degree in Engineering and electricity and Philosophy. Do not see health in there. The bags he is talking about can be washed and what about the handling of money, surely that contains just as much contamination.

Plus a lot more

Posted on 03-11-2018 07:55 | By dave4u

Think about all the other shops that will become contaminated from the reusable bags. Infection will grow at alarming rates that will fill our hospitals to capacity. Also introducing super bugs that will fight the remedies of old. Instead of plastic bags everywhere there will be reusable bags everywhere polluting. Opening those bags with mould, E coli, bird droppings, mice droppings, dirt, grime, etc. Then the spread of infection to the next customers bag via her hands. Or worst to the checkout operator. And the area where the bag sits passing the infection to another bag. Who will be left to serve me?????

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