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Green Tips: Wash Your Reusable Shopping Bags

It’s great we are keeping lots of plastic bags out of the landfill, but the reusable shopping bags could carry dangerous levels of bacteria, which can be harmful to our health.

I’m amazed at how quickly the move towards reusable shopping bags took off. Most people seem to understand the importance of reducing trash and bring their own bags when shopping. It’s great we are keeping lots of plastic bags out of the landfill, but the reusable shopping bags could carry dangerous levels of bacteria, which can be harmful to human health.  

According to one study, cross-contamination is the culprit. Juices from uncooked meat, poultry or eggs can leak onto a fabric bag, which can contaminate food put in the bag on the next trip. I read some great tips recently from the Greenopolis web page about preventing this and want to pass these along to you. 

Most importantly, wash your bags regularly, especially if something leaks, just as you do your clothes. Washing eliminates almost all contamination. I suppose that is common sense for most people, but it never hurts to be reminded. 

Another tip is to designate one bag for produce, one bag for meats, one for packaged goods, one for laundry supplies, one for clothes, etc. 

Also, don’t store your bags in the trunk of your car. In addition to storing the bags alongside the dirty sporting equipment or whatever is in your trunk, the higher temperatures in the trunk can speed up the reproduction of bad bacteria. I keep my bags by the back door to remind me to bring them shopping.

Follow these simple tips so that you can safely keep doing the right thing for you and the earth.

For more green tips, visit greenwithbetsy.com.  

Douglas Lober October 03, 2011 at 04:14 PM
Washing your reusable bags in all reality is not a lot of work to do. Typically you should choose a bag that can be washed in the washing machine and then "air" dried. If you can do that then all you nee dto do is make the switch and start taking plastic out of the stores. Are you up for the challenge? Thanks! http://reusethisbag.com
Betsy Wild October 04, 2011 at 01:40 PM
You are so right - washing your reusuable bags is no big deal! Thanks for commenting.
GBP October 04, 2011 at 03:40 PM
i think this article is a good source of information for those who would like to make use of <a href=*http://globalbagproject.com/reusableshoppingbags.htmll*>Reusable Shopping bags</a>. Cleaning it can add a little to your work but it is worth it because you will be helping the environment.

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