In The News: Use Clean Reusable Shopping Bags For a Healthy Home

| 6/16/2011 2:28:51 PM

J.PattonIf you’re the proud owner of a reusable shopping bag, first off, I would like to commend you. And secondly, I have some news for you:

On Tuesday, the Canadian health department released a statement reminding citizens about the importance of cleaning their reusable shopping bags. The statement stated that if the bags are not washed thoroughly or just simply reused, cross-contamination could cause foodborne illnesses.

Failing to properly clean your reusable shopping bag could result
in cross-contamination between produce and meats. Be careful.
Photo by thegreenpages/Courtesy

The health department pointed out that despite these risks, it still supports using reusable shopping bags. They were right to do so. There are many perks to embracing this trend.

Plastic bag production uses non-renewable resources like petroleum and natural gas. Also, it is estimated that only 1 percent of plastic bags are recycled worldwide, leaving the other 99 percent to rot away in landfills, where they can take up to 1,000 years to fully degrade. Even when people do recycle, this process still emits heavy metals into the atmosphere, which causes more pollution in the air we breathe in each day.

Reusable bags save more than 700 bags over the span of their lifetime, so it’s important to keep using them. Here are some tips the Canadian health department included in their statement about how to wash your reusable shopping bag at home: