The folks who make their living by scaring people half to death in the name of all things "green" have been pushing for bans on bisphenol A (BPA) for years; the fact that it's been in widespread use for several decades with no harmful effect whatsoever is irrelevant to them, because BPA is unnatural. They'd much prefer that we burn a lot of energy to melt sand into glass, and burn more energy to form the glass into containers, and burn even more energy to transport the heavy bottles from point A to point B. Because glass, obviously, is natural - and so its inherent disadvantages in terms of energy requirements and dangers associated with breakage should be overlooked.
But of course, manufacturers don't see it that way: all of that burned energy costs money, as does breakage. Besides, the green terrorists want to increase energy costs, so manufacturers stand to lose even more money. As a result of the continued dire scare campaigns mounted by greenie terrorists against BPA, manufacturers came up with an alternative: bisphenol S (BPS) to make bottles and can liners from. And so now the greenies are getting all hysterical about that.
They excel at ginning up fear without any basis in fact, but apparently have little understanding of the concept of consequences.
These are the same terrorists who brought in the "plastic bag" bans, which they again sold without any reliance upon actual facts; they claimed, for example, that as many as 100,000 barrels of petroleum are used each year to manufacture the bags, when in fact, as has been noted on occasion both here and elsewhere, the bags aren't produced from petroleum at all - they're produced from a waste by-product of natural gas. Rather than continuing to simply burn (known as "flaring off) the byproduct, they found that the ethylene could be easily turned into lightweight, durable, and inexpensive bags. Moreover, the bags themselves can be recycled; so they effectively developed a chain of recycling - from waste gas to useful bags and thence into yet more bags.
Ironically, greenies hailed the development as an example of ultimate recycling with the added benefit of "saving the forests" from the scourge of the paper mill. Suddenly, after virtually shutting down the forest products industries, the greenies are turning on their old friend, the infinitely recyclable "plastic" bag.
Now, they're persuading politicians to ban the bags and push people toward buying and dragging along with them so-called "reuseable" bags (as though the "plastic" bags weren't). Generally produced in China rather than in America, these "reusable" cloth bags have several advantages: first, they often contain high amounts of lead, which may add to bag weight and possibly deter people from purchasing too much food - Mooch Obama surely must approve!
As well, the Chinese-produced "reusable" bags must be transported long distances by evil, diesel-powered ships (and once ashore in America, by evil, diesel-powered trucks). Finally, there have been concerns in some quarters that the bags may serve as transport vehicles for bacteria and molds; concerns which have been mentioned previously here and elsewhere. Now, this latter concern has been confirmed (thanks to eerily-vigilant TMI for spotting the link and shooting it over here).
Basically, it boils down to a concern some have expressed: the cloth bags must be washed, which uses a lot of energy, detergent, and hot water. So most people don't bother (one checker mentioned recently that when she went to place groceries into a customer's bag, there were dirty socks in the bottom of it). But laundry issues aside, if packages happen to leak while in the bag, the bag then becomes a fertile incubator and vector for microbial contamination. When placed on the conveyor belt at checkout, microbes will be transferred onto the conveyor to greet the next lucky customer.
But it gets even better:
We examine emergency room admissions related to these bacteria in the wake of the San Francisco ban. We find that ER visits spiked when the ban went into effect. Relative to other counties, ER admissions increase by at least one fourth, and deaths exhibit a similar increase.
So not only are such politically-motivated bans not cost-effective, and not only do they confer no environmental benefit, but - as is so often the case with greenie-inspired campaigns - they're counterproductive and detrimental to human health. What a surprise.