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The coronavirus pandemic is derailing environmentalists’ efforts to ban single-use plastic packaging, including plastic shopping bags and Styrofoam takeout containers throwing a wrench into a campaign that activists had been pushing for years as public health officials are increasingly concerned that reusable are spreading the disease.

As municipalities and states seek new ways to combat the coronavirus, plastic bags used to take food and supplies out of stores are finding renewed popularity as a safer alternative to reusable bags. It’s a strong reversal for many jurisdictions which have undertaken campaigns in recent years to ban the use of plastic bags.