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My shopping bags

February 2, 2011

I haven’t done a whole lot around here lately to share any of my “going green” efforts, but one of the things I’m adamant about is using reusable shopping bags.  I have a bunch and I love them.  They’re good for so much more than grocery shopping.  They lug my books to the library, my projects to school, and are handy for a lot of tasks.

Imagine my dismay when I read an article today saying that many reusable shopping bags contain high levels of lead!  Grrr.  Seriously, we’re trying to do the right thing by buying these bags, so couldn’t the manufacturer put a little effort into making sure they’re safe??

This is definitely a setback in the strides we’ve made to be more environmentally responsible, but it’s not going to change my mind.  I still insist that reusable is far superior to the numbers of plastic bags that are sent home with shoppers every day.  If you have reusable shopping bags, please click here to see if yours is on the list for containing high levels of lead.  And if your bags have those sturdy removable bottoms in them, take them out and get rid of them.  Be green and safe.

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. February 2, 2011 6:41 am

    How incredibly frustrating to know that some of the reusable bags contain lead – that is just wrong and unnecessary in today’s times!
    I wouldn’t be without my reusables either – we have them in both of our cars as well as a spare one for a quick purchse that I keep in my handbag.
    :-) Mandy

  2. February 2, 2011 9:20 am

    I admit, I use reusable bags only 90% of the time. The rest of the time, I alternate between picking up plastic or paper, because I use the plastic bags for scooping used kitty litter, and I use the paper bags for my recyclables. To me, it makes more sense to reuse bags for these purposes, rather than buy special bags for garbage/recycling.

  3. February 2, 2011 9:27 am

    I have so many of those bags but none from any stores on the list. I don’t know how I’ll figure out which ones are okay to use. So frustrating!
    I have read recently that those bags also are frequently contaminated by bacteria and e-coli because the bags are not washed and come in direct contact with food that may be contaminated.
    I think I’m going to use only cotton bags that can be washed from now on.
    Thanks for sharing this.

  4. oneordinaryday permalink*
    February 2, 2011 9:47 am

    Try It… ~ You’re right about how important it is to buy bags you can wash. I toss mine in the laundry fairly often, but I tend to get kind of phobic about stuff like that. Especially when I think about toting meat home!
    ~ Michelle

  5. oneordinaryday permalink*
    February 2, 2011 9:49 am

    Sara ~ I also bring home plastic bags now and then to use as a garbage liner for the bathroom. We’ve found that using bread bags for the kitty litter and dog walking works for us, but that never occurred to me until we had a puppy.
    ~ Michelle

  6. February 2, 2011 10:19 am

    I love the reusable bags! It took me a while to catch on because I was too cheap to invest in them (even at $1 a pop). Then I realized that they are much sturdier, can hold more groceries, and they even fit over my arm so it’s easier to carry them into the house. I prefer the plastic ones with the thick, tarp-like material over the thin cotton ones. I never thought about the lead thing. There’s always something new to worry about.

  7. February 2, 2011 12:05 pm

    Wow, this is really surprising! Thanks for sharing, Michelle…I’m going to see if my bags are on the contaminated list!

  8. Cindy d permalink
    February 2, 2011 7:50 pm

    So disappointed to see that my bags (that I’ve been using for years) are on the list. I’ll have to switch to different totes. Thanks for the info.

  9. February 3, 2011 8:34 am

    Ugh that is terrible! Hopping over to check the list — thanks for linking this!

  10. Megan permalink
    February 3, 2011 9:10 am

    I love using my reusable bags! My mother in law bought me some really cute ones for all of my hauling of kitchen utensils and one that is insulated for hot/cold foods. I use them all the time! I am taking a look at the list to make sure mine are lead free…crossing my fingers!

  11. February 3, 2011 10:01 am

    Oh dear, “and, ironically, the District of Columbia Department of Environment.” (source, The Center For Consumer Freedom)

    Didn’t see my Trader Joe’s reusable bags on this list, although I shouldn’t, they’re just canvas bags. Isn’t that just a kick in the pants: try to do one positive thing, end up making something else worse.

  12. February 3, 2011 1:15 pm

    My daughter is really motivated to learn how to sew (and I’m so not). Every now and then I see a pattern for making your own bags. Maybe this would be a good way to satisfy her sewing urge and avoid lead at the same time.

  13. February 3, 2011 5:39 pm

    I’m all for being green … but you gotta wonder sometimes what the actually right thing to do is. F’rinstance, recycling yogurt cups. You have to wash them out before you can recycle them. But, out in these parts, water is a precious commodity. So are you wasting water to save plastic? What’s the right thing to do?

    What’s funny about reusable grocery bags is, you can fit a whole lot more in them than plastic, they’re more durable, they’re easier to hold, they’re less likely to spill in the car … a long list of benefits. And yet, the simple convenience of not having to carry them is why plastic rules the marketplace.

  14. February 12, 2011 8:40 pm

    I was one of the many processors in the form of plastic waste …. washing machine line with several plastics used me as if into small pieces and very clean then I sell to other companies … after it is recycled again into plastic bags ready for use … if there are issues like this sometimes I’m so scared ….

    Cooking Recipes

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