February 1st, 2011
Reusable shopping bags, which once seemed like such a no-brainer solution to the problem of proliferating plastic bags and single-use paper bags, became the focus of a micro-scandal late last year when some of the bags turned up with traces of lead in them.
These bags, which were apparently made in China and contained lead in the painted branding, were recalled or discontinued by most of the grocery stores involved. Wegman’s, Publix, Safeway and others stopped selling the offending bags.
But opponents of reusable bags — that is to say, plastic bag makers and their lobbyists – had a holiday. They declared the death of the reusable bag trend and decorated tree branches with discarded plastic bags to celebrate. (Calm down, I’m kidding.)