When The Tampa Tribune featured a series on the dangers of reusable plastic bags in which they found lead in the bags in Winn-Dixie, Publix, Sweetbay, Walmart and Target, a federal investigation was immediately initiated. With the rising advocacy for the environment and the green lifestyle, reusable plastic bags have become an alternative. These plastic bags currently make up 10-15% of the market, with a projected rise of 25% in the near future. This already shows how these reusable plastic bags can potentially increase in usage as the demand increases as well.
The appeal of these plastic bags is that they are made of materials that are supposed to be environment-friendly. These bags are either made of canvass or reusable plastic. In order to counter the already-produced regular plastic bags in addition to the costs of these bags, these reusable containers are typically sold. Many people have gone the reusable bag route as they are convenient, in addition to joining in the idea of saving the environment.
However, the series in the newspaper sheds a different light to these reusable plastic bags. The main issue in the presence of lead is that this may leach into the food and groceries contained in the bag. Of course, another concern is that instead of saving the environment, these plastic bags can cause further harm. Tests have so far shown that the danger only comes in over time after the bags wear down; hence, the likelihood of the lead leaching into the groceries is quite low. As the lead is found in the paint used in these bags, the lead can also cause some problems when the paint starts to peel off and when the plastic bag breaks down.
Stores and consumers should therefore be aware of the materials they use these days. This also calls for the producers of these products to disclose critical materials used, which can eventually lead to creating an impact over time. In that regard, it is important for consumers to be aware of how they can properly dispose these plastic bags; proper disposal, however, may not be enough. New innovations can therefore come up with new materials that will create the least amount of harm and impact.