Are Reusable Shopping Bags Still Creating a Problem?
Plastic bags are not good for the environment and never decompose. Being more Earth conscious, those were replaced with reusable shopping bags. Are these really helping the environment? We are preventing more plastic from ending up in landfills.
So what is the problem with reusable bags? The majority of the brightly colored bags you have are made from polypropylene plastic. This is not considered one of the “worst” plastics, polypropylene is “known to leach chemicals that are suspected of causing cancer or disrupting hormones.” Do you want your fruit in that? Probably not.
Non-canvas bags are not completely washable, leading most to test positive for bacteria (12% tested for E-coli, others for Salmonella). If you leave these bags in a hot car, bacteria multiplies, making them up to 10 times more unhealthy for your food. Lead, a known neurotoxin, and other toxic materials were found in the majority of bags tested. The more colorful bag you have, the more lead your bag contains. A black plastic insert at the bottom of your bag contains a higher level of lead as well.
Several years ago, a number of bags tested over the allowable limit for lead, were pulled from store shelves. However, the problem has not been solved. These bags still contain toxic materials and can never be recycled, which means they are still filling and polluting the landfills.
The best current solution is using a canvas bag. Canvas bags coming from China may contain higher levels of lead, so read your label before you swap out one toxin for another.
So what about your children’s lunch boxes. Are THEY safe? Since it is unlikely your child is transporting raw meat, the contamination factor goes down. There are a number of lead free options available. Here is a website with some helpful links for selecting a new lunchbox for your child this school year!
Make life easier, know what’s in your products!