Reusable grocery bags are a sustainability victory for natural product stores, which pioneered the use of the eco-friendly totes that can now be found in supermarkets of all shapes and sizes. But the environmental impact of reusable bags may not be as positive as once believed, according to a Nov. 14 article in the Tampa Tribune.

The Florida newspaper tested more than a dozen reusable grocery bags, finding lead in some of them. The lead in the tested bags from Winn-Dixie and Publix had enough lead content to be considered hazardous waste if thrown in the trash. In response, Winn-Dixie voluntarily recalled its private-label brand of reusable bags, which feature pictures of babies, on Nov. 15.

Other retailers, including Safeway, have begun testing their own reusable grocery bags, but at least one politician wants to see more done. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is calling for the Environmental Protection Agency and the Consumer Product Safety Commission to investigate the safety of reusable grocery bags.

Read the Tampa Tribune article.