The Board of Supervisors for Los Angeles County has just made the decision that companies that use one-time plastic bags can not longer use them in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. Their ruling excludes those cities that have their own city council.
Yesterday the Tampa Tribune had an article in their paper that stated that they had tested more than a dozen reusable bags and found lead in some of them, including Target and Wal-Mart bags. They quickly stated that those two had among the lowest level of lead in them. Swell!
Some East Coast supermarket chains have already pulled the reusable bags off the shelves. The paper found that bags from some companies had enough lead in them to be considered hazardous waste if disposed of in household trash. They did say that the tests showed that the lead does not easily leach out – presenting minimal harm to food when the bags are new. (Since they are “reusable”, what does that mean for those of us keeping the bags in our cars – where the sun beats down – and then take them into the store to put our foodstuffs in them?) Many of my reusable bags haven’t been “new” for months!
They went on to say that if you threw the bags away, the toxic heavy metal can seep into the ground when bags break down in landfills. If the paint peels off and gets on your food – (I presume they are talking about produce, meat, etc., rather than food in boxes) will that make the food toxic?
The report went on to say that Safeway said they tested bags from their vendor last year and did not find any traceable lead in the fabric or paint. Nice to know that they will be testing the bags again since I do have several “Von’s” reusable bags.
One Senator, Charles Schumer, from New York, has stated that “since most of the bags come from China, the FDA should investigate the problem.” He stated, “I think the supermarket industry is realizing this is a problem . . . and trying to take action themselves. But because so many of these bags are imported, I think the FDA has to step up to the plate.” Isn’t it a crime that we have to import our reusable bags from China? Aren’t there American companies that could make these bags?
According to some reports, reusable bags have maintained their popularity even though some environmentalists have said they are a “hothouse for bacteria.” Green proponents are chagrined that another good intention has gone awry.
I remember when my GRANDMOTHER used to make her shopping bags out of string. I am not even sure where she got the string, but day after day I would see her making the bags. I’m not sure why she stopped making them; perhaps paper shopping bags came out about then and she switched over to them.
Don’t you think that the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors could have waited a few more weeks before they passed this new law?
Don’t you think they could have waited until more research was done to see if the reusable bags are a harbinger of bacteria and harmful to the people and/or environment?
This can’t help but make one feel like someone on the Board may have more than a vested interest in reusable bags!