white converse Reusable shopping bags may be

Reusable shopping bags may be filled with toxic lead

So you care about the environment, and you take a reusable shopping bag with you to the grocery store to avoid polluting the planet with countless plastic sacks. Now you find out your bag is made with potentially harmful lead. What’s an environmentalist to do?

If you’re like Elnora Cooper, nothing.

“I’m not eating the bag . and I’m not going to get rid of it,” Cooper, 68, said with a chuckle after walking out of a Wegmans Food Markets stor white converse e in Rochester this week with a reusable bag under her arm.

The latest in a long line of ominous warnings about potentially dangerous products concerns synthetic but reusable bags that may contain traces of lead. The stir in supermarkets and Congress is less about whether the toxin might rub off on food and more about whether they could accumulate in landfills and create an environmental hazard.

But since the whole point of the bags is that they’re to be kept, not tossed out, and because the concentration of lead in them is so low, some shoppers are convinced there’s little risk of an imminent toxic catastrophe.

“I switched to reusable bags six or seven years ago to keep plastic out of landfills,” said Cooper, a retired nurse. “I’ll keep using the one with the lead, truthfully, before I start using plastic again.”

The Rochester based Wegmans chain of 77 stores in several Eastern states halted sales of two styles of reusable bags in September after tests by a local environmental group found they contained potentially unsafe levels of lead. Wegmans said there’s no evidence the 750,000 bags it sold pose a health threat.

“The eventual disposal of the bags is the only issue, from an environmental perspective,” said spokeswoman Jo Natale, urging customers to return the bags for replacement when they’re no longer useful.

The company, which has sold an estimated 4.5 million reusable bags at its stores in five states, has not decided yet how it will dispose of returned bags.

Lead can cause learning disabilities in children and fertility problems in adults if ingested.

A recent investigation by The Tampa Tribune found excessive amounts of lead in reusable bags bought at Winn Dixie and other major retailers. The lead white converse appears to be in a form that’s not easily extracted or “leached” out.

But over time in a landfill, laboratory experts told the newspaper, the bags break down and paint can flake off. since the late 1970s.

Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, on Sunday called on the Food and Drug Administration to open an investigation into the bags.

“When our families go to the grocery store looking for safe and healthy foods to feed their kids, the last thing they should have to worry about are toxic bags,” he said.

The next day, Long Island chain King Kullen and Jacksonville, Fla. based Winn Dixie said they were pulling some brands of reusable bags. Winn Dixie and Tampa based Publix are asking suppliers to find ways to make reusable groc white converse ery bags with less lead. market of grocery bags. Wegmans’ Chinese made “green pea” and “holiday 2009″ bags had lead levels seven to eight times higher than allowed under New York state packaging regulations.

But after they were removed, tests for “leachable lead levels” came back at less than 0.1 parts per million, s white converse aid Kathleen O’Donnell, Wegmans’ chief food scientist.

“That level is classified as a non hazardous waste and could go into any landfill,” she said.

Dr. John Rosen, a lead poisoning specialist at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore in New York City, said any source of lead exposure, no matter how small, should be eliminated if possible.

“I haven’t seen any numbers on the lead concentration in shopping bags, but for my own grandchildren’s safety, I’d say to my daughters, ‘Don’t use them,'” Rosen said.

The bags join other pilloried consumer goods that have raised eyebrows recently, such as children’s jewelry and Shrek themed novelty glasses that contained cadmium.

To Beth Lavigne, the bag brouhaha sounds more like “a blip.”

“If there’s a problem, they’ll get it fixed. . It won’t be an issue anymore,” said Lavigne, 61, a college administrator who owns a dozen reusable bags. “Reusables are a good idea. But who knows what’s in the plastic bags?”

Mary Siegrist, an 81 year old former teacher, said as she queued up at a Wegmans deli counter that she was all for studying the issue.

“In other countries, things have to be proven to be safe before being put into circulation,” she said. “Here, we put it into circulation and then find out later it’s unsafe.”

Anyone concerned about the possibility of lead in their shopping bags can rest easy if they use cotton canvas bags rather than the more colorful synthetic type, said Russ Haven of the New York Public Interest Research Group in Albany.

“At this point,” he said, “the canvas bags have a clean bill of health.”

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Reusable shopping bags make going green easy for Columbia families

Protecting our planet and teaching children about conservationism just keeps getting easier. The reusable shopping bags that have come out over the past few years are a prime example. They are available at white converse just about every grocery store and many major retailers, often for about a buck! Hopefully they will become the standard replacement for plastic shopping bags. The one below was purchased for a dollar at Target.

Each year, an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide. That comes out to over one million per minute. Billions end up as litter each year.

Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, whales and other marine mammals die every year from eating discarded plastic bags mistaken for food.

Plastic bags don’t biodegrade, they photodegrade breaking down into smaller and sm white converse aller toxic bi white converse ts contaminating soil and waterways and entering the food web when animals accidentally ingest.

In 2001, Ireland consumed 1.2 billion plastic bags, or 316 per person. An extremely successful plastic bag consumption tax introduced in 2002 reduced consumption by 90%. Approximately 18,000,000 liters of oil have been saved due white converse to this reduced production. Governments around the world are considering implementing similar measures.

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Reusable shopping bags from China contain lead

So, here’s my ans white converse wer to the Chinese shopping bag problem buy handmade!

It’s good karma to buy something made by an American independent craftsperson rather than a large corporation that employs Chinese people and doesn’t pay them a living wage.

This cute bag white converse with the cherries is handmade by CraftChicks from Deforest, Wisconsin. It has a blackboard side on it and comes with chalk so you can write your shopping list on the bag! ($10, CraftChicks’ Etsy)

Bonesbags makes this cool bag for carrying the wine (or. pop.) in. It looks pretty insulated, so I bet it keeps it cold too. ($10, Bonesbags’ Etsy)

If you’ve got a hundred bucks to splurge on the kind of bag that’ll never let you white converse down, I always suggest you go with a Blicksbag. They’re designed and handmade by Madeline Hoyle, just down the street from where I live. I have two, one of which I traded a large scale painting for.

As you can see, there’s a ton of great clean conscience alternatives to the mass produced, toxic C white converse hinese bags. Handmade things tend to last longer, and when something is stitched with care, it matters. Yes, they’re a little more pricey, but isn’t anything worth doing, worth doing right?

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Reusable shopping bags could be making you sick

The Partnership for Food Safety Education issued a warning on the Partnership for Food S white converse afety Education Facebook page today, Ma white converse rch 1, explaining that reusable shopping bags must be washed frequently. Bacteria in a reusable shopping bag can make you sick.

The Partnership for Food Safety Education also explained that food should be separated with poultry, seafood, and raw meats bagged separately in plastic bags to avoid juice leaking out and contaminating other food and your bag. They suggest that you white converse wash your shopping bags in the washing machine, and, if not possible, to wash them by hand with hot water and soap.

Reusable shopping bags have become more commonly used, especially in locations where sing white converse le use plastic bags are banned. You can view an interactive map here that indicates what locations worldwide have adopted this policy. Localities around the country and around the world are adopting this legislation because plastic bags don’t break down in landfills. They clog waterways, endanger wildlife, and create a litter problem. However, reusable shopping bags are creating another problem of their own. E. coli bacteria were identified in 8 percent of all the bags sampled, but washing the bags eliminated 99.9 percent of the pathogens.

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Reusable shopping bags could be encouraged

The state Senate was scheduled to vote Tuesday on the bill but failed to pass it during an initial vote. It faced a midnight deadline as the Legislature finished its work for the current session.

The Democratic bill has been the subject of a furious lobbying campaign by the plastic bag manufacturing industry, which calls it a job killer.

Supporters of AB1998 say the 19 billion plastic bags Californians use every year harm the environment and cost the state $25 million annually to collect and transport to landfills.

The ban, if eventually signed into law, would take effect in supermarkets and large retail stores in 2012. It would apply to smaller stores in 2013.

Republicans and some Democrats oppose it, saying it would add an extra burden on consumers and businesses at a time when many already are struggling financially.

“If we pass this piece of legislation, we will be sending a message to the people of California that we care more about banning plastic bags than helping them put food on their table,” said Sen. Mimi Walters, R Lake Forest. Most significantly, Brownley removed a provision that would have imposed 5 cent fee for customers who forget to bring their own bag and need to buy a recycled paper one. The proceeds would have gone entirely to the retailer.

Under the revised bill, retailers would be allowed to charge only what it costs them to buy paper bags. Stores would be required to provide free bag white converse s to shoppers who rely on government assistance.

The amended bill also designates $2 million from an existing recycling promotion fund to be used to help manufacturers modify their plants to produce reusable plastic bags using recycled content. A state law that took effect in 2007 requires supermarkets and other large retailers to place plastic bag recycling bins in easily accessible locations and have reusable bags available for customers to buy.

Critics say the $2 million is not enough to protect California manufacturing jobs and that the state should focus on enhancing recycling programs to reduce bag litter.

The b white converse ill’s main opponent, the Virginia based American Chemistry Council, has spent millions in lobbying fees, radio ads and even a prime time television ad attacking the measure. The organization represents plastic bag manufacturers such as Dow Chemical Co. and ExxonMobil Corp.

Last year, it helped defeat an effort by Seattle to impose a 20 cent fee on the use of plastic or paper grocery bags.

Brownley described her fight with the American Chemistry Council as “a David and Goliath battle,” but said she remained confident she would prevail. in nations such as South Africa, Ireland, China and Bangladesh.

In 2007, San Francisco became the first American city to require supermarkets and large drug stores to offer customers bags made only of recyclable paper, plastic that can be turned into compost, or sturdy cloth or plastic that can be reused.

The cities of Palo Alto, Malibu and Fairfax have since followed, while a ban approved in Manhattan Be white converse ach is tied up in litigation, said Matthew King, a spokesman for Heal the Bay, the Santa Monica based nonprofit that sponsored AB1998.

If AB1998 passes the Senate on Tuesday, the Assembly would have to approve amendments before sending it to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s desk.

After the Assembly passed an earlier version of the measure in June, the Republican governor issued a statement saying he supported a ban on plastic bags in California. Howeve white converse r, he has not committed to signing the bill in its current form.

If the measure is defeated, either by the Legislature or a Schwarzenegger veto, some local government officials are ready to take matters into their own hands. According to Heal the Bay, officials in Los Angeles County, Redondo Beach and Santa Monica said they would pursue individual city and countywide bans in the coming months.

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Reusable shopping bags carry germs too

Researchers at the University of Arizona and Loma Linda University queried shoppers headed into grocery stores in California and Arizona, asking them if they wash those reusable bags. The researchers were likely met with a lot of blank looks. Most shoppers 97 percent, white converse in fact reported that they do not regularly, if ever, wash the bags.

Further, three fourths acknowledged that they don’t use separate white converse bags for raw meats and for vegetables, and about a third said they used the bags for, well, all sorts of things (storing snacks, toting books). You can see where this is going.

The researchers tested 84 of the bags for bacteria. They found whopping amounts in all but one bag, and coliform bacteria (suggesting raw meat or uncooked food contamination) in half. And yes, the much feared E. coli was among them in 12 percent of the bags.

The researchers wrote in their discussion of the findings: “It is estimated that there are about 76,000,000 cases of food borne illness in the United States every year. Most of these illnesses originate in the white converse home from improper cooking or handling of foods. Reusable bags, if not properly washed between uses, create the potential for cross contamination of foods.

“This potential exists when raw meat products and foods traditionally eaten uncooked (fruits and vegetables) are carried in the same bags, either together or between uses. This risk can be increased by the growth of bacteria in the bags.”

The study, funded by the American Chemistry Council, is being offered up as context in discussions about a California bill, AB 1998, that would ban single use plastic bags.

But the researchers also assessed the effectiveness of washing the bags. Way to go, researchers! Good news on that front: Mach white converse ine washing or hand washing reduced bacteria levels to almost nothing.

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Reusable Shopping Bags Can Spread Stomach Flu Bug

Steering clear of someone with a stomach bug doesn’t mean you can’t catch it. Norovirus, the bug responsible for the stomach flu, can be spread by inanimate objects, namely, reusable grocery bags, according to a new study.

Oregon researchers investigated a recent outbreak of the bug among 17 members of a girls’ soccer team and their four adult chaperones while attending a tournament in Washington state. One member of the team, presumably exposed to the virus before the tournament, began vomiting and experiencing diarrhea in a chaperone’s bathroom, who quickly took her home and later became sick herself.

Seven other players and chaperones fell ill afterwards, although none had come in direct contact with the original patient after she first displayed symptoms. The common link? A reusable grocery bag of snacks that had been stored in the bathroom, according to the study, published today in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Kimberly K. “It was something about the cookies, we knew, that was associated with the source of the outbreak,” Repp said.

So how did the highly contagious bug get to the cookies? Particles from vomit and feces can become airborne, land on bags or other inanimate objects and survive there for weeks, NPR explained, which is likely how it recently wreaked havoc on cruise ships and even infiltrated NBA locker rooms.

While researchers have long assumed this to be true, the small study is “the first ever reported case of transmitting this virus with an inanimate object,” Repp told WebMD.

There’s no doubt they are a more eco friendly choice than plastic, but reusable grocery bags have a shaky health history. In 2010, a study found that over half are contaminated with bacteria, some even with E. coli, because 97 percent of shoppers say they never wash their totes.

Throwing away any food that has been around someone with the norovirus is an important step toward staying healthy, but properly cleaning the environment is crucial, too. Warm water works, as does a mild bleach and water mixture. Make sure to clean counters and cabinets where you place or store the bags, too.

And don’t forget about some of the other sneaky places germs can be lurking. Check out the slideshow below for more germ traps to clean today.

Water BottlesSwitching from p white converse lastic to a BPA free, reusable bottle is smart for your wallet and the planet. But as fantastic as we think reusable water bottles are, they aren’t invincible to bacteria and fungi.

The damp enclosed space is a perfect breeding ground for germs, so it’s a good idea to wash your bottle every day. Hot water and soap are strong enough to do the trick, but for tall bottles or ones with slimmer openings, consider trying a bottle brush.

Flickr photo by Alan Levine

Yoga MatsDon’t leave you white converse r warm, damp mat in its bag after class it’ll encourage bacterial growth. Instead, drape it over a door or banister and let it dry completely before your next swe white converse at session. Be sure to wipe it down regularly as well, with a solution of one cup of warm water and two drops of dish soap, recommends FitSugar.

And keep your mat to yourself! Communal mats that aren’t cleaned properly could be linked to the spread of unpleasant gym related troubles like jock itch and athlete’s foot, according to the New York Times.

Flickr photo by lululemon athletica

Reusable Grocery BagsA 2010 study found that more than half of eco friendly reusable totes are contaminated with bacteria, possibly even E. coli not something we want getting cozy with our groceries.

The reason? A whopping 97 percent of shoppers interviewed said they never wash the bags, the study found.

While we’re probably not at risk of any shopping related outbreaks, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to throw the bags in the wash regularly.

Flickr photo by Neeta Lind

Purses And WalletsYou don’t leave home without it which means it’s going everywhere you go and picking up germs along the way.

Microbiologist Chuck Gerba, who researches the sneaky places germs hide, told ABC in 2006:

“We found fecal bacteria you normally find on the floor of restroom. We found bacteria that can cause skin infections on the bottom of purses. What’s more amazing is the large numbers we find on the bottom of purses, which indicates that they can be picking up a lot of other germs like cold viruses or viruses that cause diarrhea.”

Many of the w white converse omen in Gerba’s research argued that they don’t touch the bottom of their purses, so they weren’t concerned about the spread of germs, but it’s easy to unknowingly transfer germs, he said, including to areas of food preparation.

And because money is constantly changing hands, your wallet as well can play host to numerous germs that you then transfer to other belongings.

Dr. Oz offered some cleaning tips in a 2009 episode of “Good Morning America”, including wiping down the contents of your purse with antibacterial wipes and leaving your purse at your door instead of bringing it and its germy freeloaders further into your home.

MakeupEven though you may feel like keeping your favorite tube of lipstick forever, makeup can both spoil and harbor germs, bacteria and mold that spread icky infections and cause breakouts.

Find out how long your makeup lasts here, then use spring cleaning as an excuse to go through your stash.

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reusable shopping bags can harbor potentially harmful bacteria

A new study from researchers at the University of Arizona and Loma Linda University finds that reusable shopping bags can harbor potentially harmful bacteria if they aren cleaned and 97% of people surveyed said they never washed white converse theirs. Yet the study, funded by the American Chemistry Council, also found that washing the reusable bags, either by hand or machine, cut bacterial contamination by more than 99%.

The analysis of 84 bags collected from shoppers entering supermarkets in L white converse os Angeles, Tucson, Arizona and the San Francisco Bay area, found that nearly all bags tested had some bacterial contamination. Roughly half had coliform bacteria, and 12% had Escherichia coli (E. coli). The researchers found that if the reusable bags most of which are made of woven polypropylene were exposed to white converse juices from meat products, and then stored in the warm trunk of a car for two hours, bacteria grew 10 fold.

The study was released as debate continues over a California bill that would ban single use plastic grocery bags. They write:

results indicate that reusable bags can play a significant role white converse in the cross contamination of foods if not properly washed on a regular basis. It is recommended that the public needs to be educated about the proper care of reusable bags by printed instructions on the bags or through public service announcements. the full study here.

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Reusable Shopping Bags Are Promoting Businesses

Promo products are designed to offer the most loyal customers and attract new customers. If your promotion does not work, then you not using it correctly. W white converse hile using eco bags, you can enjoy a simple and very effective way to promote your business. You can deliver much more and have much more to offer to your customers. Eco friendly bags will work for your company.

The Most Loyal Customers

This idea uses cloth bags environmentally in the best possible way. Instead of simply giving away the bags to all current and potential customers, only give the logo printed bags to customers who are loyal to your company. There are a few ways to go about doing this: give a free bag for customers who allocate a certain amount of money in your store. Then, just hand bags to your customers and potential customers. You can distribute to customers when they visit your store, give them out at a fair or another event. People love receiving things for free, and feel that you are an eco friendly business trying to reduce the use of traditional plastic bags. The logo will be seen countless times, that people who receive the bags and they will rememb white converse er your business next time they need your products or services.

Another way to retain customers is to give t white converse he bags away, when a customer makes multiple purchases. For example, changing the oil company might say: “After getting your oil changed 5 times, you get free eco friendly bag!”

These ideas can be used immediately once you have your reusable shopping bags with logo printing. All you need do is promote the bags to your clients. Customers love to get “free” things. You will see your company attract new customers and existing customers spend more money in your company and return more ofte white converse n, something that all companies can use more.

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Reusable Shopping Bags Are Here

We are very happy to report that Wal white converse Mart reusable shopping bags are now available so we can all start white converse our new year grocery shopping off right.

Since last year Wal Mart has worked to prove their green initiatives are legitimate and not just corporate From a brand centric principle is delivering on a promise they made to their employees, shareholders, customers, and communities.

Most notable was their hire of Sierra Club President/green activist, Adam Werbach, who wisely put his white converse pre conceived notions aside in order to reach a global audience on a g white converse lobal issue. It working. Wal Mart has brought the compact flourscent light bulb into the mainstream and now the reusable shopping bag.

It is an added plus that these bags aren’t plastered with the huge block type and star across the sides (which would have been an embarrassment to carry) but they are black, modern and cleanly designed. They feature the slogan or Plastic? Neither. The Wal Mart name is on the sewn in seam tag only. They are actually the nicest looking reusable bags we have purchased.

The new bags are made from a fabric containing rPET, with 85% recycled content and hold more than twice the amount of an average plastic bag. They were easy to carry even loaded with cans and awkward items.

The bags sell for only $1 and are located near checkout aisles in Wal Mart stores. Wal Mart will also take the bags back at the end of their life span for recycling.

Props to Wal Mart for taking their position in the global marketplace and using it to make a difference for our environment. They still have a lot of ground to cover but this is definitely a step in the right direction!