The COVID-19 pandemic has all of our attentions. It seems to bring out the best in people — nurses, doctors and essential personnel put their very lives on the line. But, there are those who use the pandemic as a bully pulpit to promote their products. Enter the plastic industry. They would have us believe that plastic bags are superior to reusable bags when we know that the virus can live up to three days on plastic. They prey on our collective fear. Front groups have touted industry funded research to back claims which haven't even tested for the COVID 19 virus or coronavirus.

Perhaps there should be a temporary ban on reusables, but I suggest there should be a permanent ban on plastic bags in Rockford. There are 1.8 trillion plastic pieces floating in five garbage patches on the ocean. Located halfway between Hawaii and California, the Great Garbage Patch is twice the size of Texas. It measures 1.6 square kilometers. This, to me, would suggest that we need to take immediate steps to lessen plastics by doing away with the use of plastic bags in Rockford.

— Margaret Taj, Rockford