by Linsley Oaks, LuxEco Editorial Assistant
Green is in and it is here to stay. Eco-friendly products have blossomed on the fashion scene and are growing in popularity and diversity every day. One love child of sustainability and fashion is the reusable shopping bag. Originally a modest reducer of plastic bags in grocery stores, you can now see these ‘green’ totes being used en mass and for a variety of needs. Available in almost any size, shape, and design imaginable, these bags greatly reduce the need for plastic bags (a known eco no-no) while making the user ever so noticeably savvy, chic, and even witty.
Not one to miss out on the latest fashions, the state legislator has on its docket a bill that would ban plastic bags in California. No more plastic bags? How wonderful! Finally, a bill that should be a ‘no brainer‘ and be expediently passed with pride. Unless, of course, you happen to be a plastic bag manufacturer.
According to the Pasadena Star News, The American Chemistry Council (who’s board members include plastic bag manufactures) are objecting to the bill to ban plastic bags on the grounds that reusable bags are a health risk. According to a study funded by the American Chemical Council and conducted by the University of Arizona, reusable bags contain bacteria that could contaminate our food- if they are not washed. Of course, while there has never been a reported case of food contamination from reusable bag bacteria, ‘that doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen’ says Ryan G. Sinclair, Assistant Professor of environmental and occupational health associated with the study.
Say what? So, let me get this logic straight: because there is a slight possible negative outcome (that has not happened yet even with widespread use) with a very simple solution (i.e. wash the bag once a week!), we should therefore continue to consistently have a strong negative impact on the health of our eco-systems? Right. A single plastic bag dancing in the wind may have made a poetic cinematic statement in ‘American Beauty’, but look at our streets, lakes, rivers, and ocean: plastic bags are strewn about like so many dirty socks in a fraternity house. Clearly, we need to clean up. Sorry, American Chemistry Council, you get no sympathy from me. The good that can come from banning plastic bags far outweighs the bad of jobs and industry lost in the plastic bag manufacturing business and supposed possible ‘health risk’ reusable bags pose. Let’s pass this bill into law and show that eco-fashion is a greater good. Let’s make plastic bags and the unsustainable philosophy they embody, like, SO last season!