In light of the recent New York Times article regarding lead content found in cheap reusable shopping bags (e.g. 99-cent, non-woven polypropylene bags), we would like to address some common concerns and dispel rumors and misconceptions.
Bags from Winn-Dixie, left, and Publix were found to contain lead. Image from Tampa Tribune (Cliff McBride)
A brief summary of the issue
- An investigation conducted by the Tampa Tribune found high levels of lead in a handful of cheap reusable bags. A similar stroy from USA Today reported dangerous levels of lead in bags sold by Walgreens, Safeway and Bloom.
- These reports have generated massive media coverage, fueling lots of misconceptions regarding the safety of reusable bags in general, especially those made in China.
- This issue comes down to the problems inherent in cheap reusable shopping bags, which we've been bringing to light for years.
If you've purchased bags from us or recommended them to a friend, here are a few facts:
- We have never carried the types of bags referred to in these reports (cheap reusable bags with printing on them).
- Just because a bag is "Made in China" does not mean it contains lead or is in anyway unsafe. Many reputable brands we carry (including Envirosax, Flip & Tumble, BAGGU, ChicoBags and our reuseit line) manufacture bags in China using high-quality, safe materials.
- At reuseit.com, you'll find safe, high-quality bags manufactured safely & responsibly all over the world. If you've purchased bags from us, you don't have anything to worry about.
Our basic advice & learn more
As always, be selective! Buy a handful of high-quality, "everyday" reusable bags that you will use for years and years - from a company you trust. That way, you'll know they're responsibly made, built to last and use high-quality materials (unlike cheap reusable bags).
If you have any questions or concerns, contact us at [email protected].
Vincent Cobb - Founder, reusablebags.com and reuseit.com
Update: This story recently resurfaced thanks to a report from the CCF uncovering unsafe levels of lead in cheap reusable shopping bags sold by Walgreens, CVS, Safeway and more. Find out who's behind the studies in our post Who is the CCF & what's their beef with reusable shopping bags?