Banning bags

EDITOR: You printed a column by Ramesh Ponnuru, a conservative pundit, claiming that reusing cloth bags instead of using disposable bags is unsanitary ("Plastic bag bans can have unsavory results," Feb. 6). He cited a statistic that 97 percent of people who use cloth bags don't wash them. Who was interviewed for that research? I wash my bags, and everyone I know who uses bags washes them. This type of punditry is typical for people who make money defending industries such as tobacco and oil that are making profits in ways that damage our lives and environment.

The truth is easy to see. Take a walk or a bike ride along Santa Rosa Creek and see the gay festoons of bags along the banks and decorating the trees. Do a little research and see that sea animals such as whales, turtles and birds that eat jelly fish mistake floating bags for their prey and eat them. Because the bags are not digestible, they get stuck in the animals' stomachs and eventually cause them to starve to death.

Once you get in the habit of carrying cloth shopping bags, it becomes easier than recycling a clutter of plastic and paper bags. I support banning disposable bags.

BARRIE ANN MASON

Santa Rosa