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Pros and Cons of Reusable Bags

15 Sep Posted by admin in Commentary, green living | Comments
Pros and Cons of Reusable Bags
Many people have started using reusable shopping bags to help do their part to protect the environment.  Every grocery store chain or department store caries their own branded bags now.  Usually these can be purchased for a few dollars each, and are located near the checkout aisles.  The options range from fabric woven type bags (usually cotton or canvas), polypropylene, or reusable hemp bags.  Reusable bags are seemingly a good idea, but just like any other product they do have their pros and cons.

Pros of Reusable Bags
There are many pros of using reusable shopping bags.  One of the biggest pros is that you are taking part in a kind of recycling.  You’re doing your part to keep plastic bags out of the landfills.  Another pro of reusable shopping bags are that they are rather cheap to purchase, you can usually find some for around a few bucks.  Some bags also offer an insulated option, making sure your frozen and refrigerated foods stay cold on the trip home.  Regular plastic bags don’t offer this protection.  Reusable bags are very strong and durable, I find that I can load many  more groceries in a single bag versus a single plastic bag.  The bags are usually made from recycled materials and the production process causes less harm to the environment.

Cons of Reusable Bags
With all of those pros, it can be hard to imagine that there are any cons at all to using reusable bags.  There are cons, and some of them are rather large and may indeed be deal breakers for you.  Reusable bags are going to get dirty, they’re going to get germs and bacteria in them.  They will hold dirt and debris.  To make sure the bags don’t jeopardize the safety of your food you will have to wash them frequently.  Some of them are so fragile they will have to be hand washed.  It’s important to remember to not place raw meet in your reusable shopping bags.  Keep raw meat separate, you’re going to have to use a plastic bag for this. There have also been recent reports of high levels of lead being found in reusable bags.  Most of the bags come from China and it has been found that the bags contain trace amounts of lead, and the paint for the lettering contains very high amounts of lead.  As you know lead is bad for the environment and toxic for humans.  This last one is trivial, but some people find it a hassle to pack the bags to the store.

If you take some simple steps you can make sure your reusable bags are safe and the cons will have a minimal impact on you.  First make sure you use a recycled bag that is plain in color.  Also make sure the bags have minimal or no logos or text that has been painted on.  This will keep lead levels to the lowest possible levels.  Ensure that you wash and clean your bags regularly and keep raw meat out of them.  Make sure also that groceries are the only things that ever go in these bags.  If you follow these simple steps your food will remain safe and you will be making a positive impact on the environment.

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