Plastic bag ban could affect food safety

Feb 1, 2013

As Bristol becomes the latest Rhode Island town to consider banning plastic bags, experts say the benefits of a ban could extend to the food we eat.

Associate Professor of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island, Rainer Lohmann, says toxins clinging to plastic trash can make their way up the food chain, polluting our seafood. He says banning plastic bags is a good first step for cleaning up plastic pollution.

“There’s a lot of other chemical pollution that happens in the Bay that we can’t see, and that still affects the quality of the food that we might get out of the Bay, outside of the whole issue of plastics.”

Coordinator of Food Safety Outreach at URI, Lori Pivarnik, is concerned that banning plastic bags may lead to the spread of food pathogens; she says after all, you don’t want to put your lettuce in an unwashed bag that just held raw meat.