Environmental activists have succeeded in convincing the Seattle city council to ban pastic bags.
This has caused a spike in thefts from grocery stores as well as a jump in E. coli cases from reusing cloth grocery bags.
In addition to theft of merchandise, store owners have seen a jump in the number of hand baskets stolen from the supermarket at a cost of thousands of dollars.
According to data released in January by Seattle Public Utilities, more than 21 per cent of business owners surveyed reported increased shoplifting because of the plastic bag ban.
Across the United States we have seen these bag bans, and the shoplifting has always had a substantial leap.
Shoplifters would load up their baskets with groceries - both stolen and purchased - and walk out of the store stealing groceries, basket and all.
Loss of revenue due to shoplifting is not the only problem that has been linked to the ban.
According to a study released last summer, the bag ban coincided with a jump in the number of E. coli cases and a spike in deaths caused by food-borne illnesses.
Another study published in 2011 found E. coli in eight per cent of all reusable bags from randomly selected individuals in California and Arizona stores.
Washing the bags eliminated nearly all of the harmful bacteria, but evidence presented in the paper suggested that not all consumers bother to do it.