How to care for reusable shopping bags

I am beginning to see more and more shoppers using reusable shopping bags. These bags are great for the environment but not so great for your health if you don’t care for them properly.

 New studies show that reusable bags may harbor bacteria (e. coli and salmonella) from raw produce or meat. If you keep your bags in the car so you will not forget them…then risk is even greater.

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 To keep the bags clean and bacteria free follow these tips…..

 •Wash the bags regularly.

•Don’t store the bags in the car when it’s warm outside (or really sunny)……as bacteria thrive in heat.

•Dry your bags in the sun when you can …..sunlight kills bacteria.

•Designate specific bags for raw meat and for produce…you may even want to use a plastic produce bag for raw meat and produce.

 Now you’re probably saying to yourself “That’s too much work, I’ll just go back to plastic bags.” But before you abandon the reusable bags remember these important facts……

  • The average person will use over 350 bags in a single year.

 • In 1999, more than 14 million trees were cut down to produce 10 billion paper bags that were used by Americans that year.

• One paper grocery bag requires 1 gallon of water to make (yes, 1 gallon per bag).

• The manufacturing of paper bags actually uses far more resources and creates more pollution than the manufacturing of plastic bags; however, paper bags are compostable and biodegradable.

• Plastic bags never actually biodegrade; instead, they photodegrade, which means the sun breaks them down into tinier and tinier pieces until they eventually mix back into the soil and water, to be consumed by plants, animals, fish – and therefore you and me.

• Plastic bags are produced from petroleum (oil).

• In New York City, one less grocery bag per person would reduce waste by five million pounds and save $250,000 in disposal costs.

You’re doing a great service by bringing reusable shopping bags to the grocery store….your environment thanks you!

 Source: Simple Organic

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