Reusable Bags: Bad for the environment and your health

When environmentalists first began to attack plastic grocery bags, they offered paper bags as the green alternative.  When researchers pointed out, leaving aside consumer’s desire for plastic bags over other choices, that paper bags were as or more harmful to the environment as plastic bags, environmentalists were temporarily stymied in their assault.

Then they turned to pushing reusable bags made from either paper or cloth.  I have written concerning the weaknsses of the arguments against plastic bags and for reusable bags as an alternative.  I noted some of the environmental, economic and health costs of reusable bags.

Now, the unsettling, human health threats posed by reusable bags are getting even more notice.   It seems they are the bearers of the stomach flu.

Comments (3)

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  1. brian says:

    Ironically, when environmentalists have their way, the results can sometimes be quite dirty.

  2. Virginia says:

    I love my reusable bags, but I’m thinking of switching to ones that are more machine washable. My mom collects her plastic bags for me, and I use those for household trash. Overall, I think consumers use too many plastic bags (do I really need a bag for the single items that I just purchased?), but I admit that we haven’t yet found a good alternative.

  3. Marie L says:

    With all this talk about reusables and plastic bags i think ive come across a better way. To avoid bags altogether I use a “box” instead! CRESBI crates are lightweight plastic crates that stack, collapse and eliminate the bacteria problem because they’re dishwasher safe. Plus they also hold more than most bags! I save time too since I open the crates as I shop and turn barcodes up on my items as I place them in the crates. Then the checker scans my items in the crate and hands the crates back to me. Managers and baggers and checkers rave about them and love to see me in their lane.I use different colors for food – red for meat, green for veggies, etc. You can get them in a bag or a cooler or bigger crate to carry. Found them at, Definitely cost more than a bag but there are moving parts!

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