Recently, several reports have surfaced revealing unsettling lead content in cheap reusable bags sold by many major retailers. We've never carrried the non-woven polypropylene bags featured in the reports, and quickly responded with facts you should show about reusable shopping bags.
We feel it's important to understand where these reports are coming from, and it didn't take much searching to find out who was behind the most recent alarming studies - the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF).
So who is the CCF? From Wikipedia:
CCF was set up in 1995 by Richard Berman, executive director of the public affairs firm Berman and Company, with $600,000 from the Philip Morris tobacco company. Berman told The Washington Post that CCF is now funded by a coalition of restaurant and food companies as well as some individuals; according to the group's website it is supported by over 100 companies and thousands of individual consumers. Sponsors are reported to include Brinker International, RTM Restaurant Group (the owner of Arby's), Tyson Foods, HMSHost Corp, and Wendy's.
CCF has campaigned against a number of organizations, such as the Centers for Disease Control, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and maintains several websites devoted to criticizing them.
According to a story on GreenTech, "In a press statement CCF senior research analyst J. Justin Wilson says 'retailers were goaded into selling these bags' by environmentalists." The result, he went on to say, is an increase in cheap, and possibly unsafe reusables flooding the market.
While we agree that the popularity of cheap reusables, namely 99 cent shopping bags, inevitably does more harm than good, we have to question the motives behind the CCF study.
So what's the good news? In that same story from GreenTech, we were sited as a source for reusable bags "made of safe, and recycled materials."
Check out our previous post about lead in reusable shopping bags here.
Read more about the problems associated with cheap reusable bags here.