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Reusable grocery bags

Published: September 1st, 2009

Revised: October 4th, 2009

Reusable BagThe use of reusable food containers and carry devices for groceries is an important, to date overlooked piece in the study of the safety of the food supply in Canada. There has been little to no testing to investigate the public health implications of reusable bags, yet increasingly reusables are being advanced as a viable substitute for first-use or single use packaging/ containers. The food service sector has been particularly concerned about the use of reusables. In conjunction with the Plastics Council of Canada, we evaluated an independently collected pilot data set of microbiological tests on reusable bags. Our findings demonstrated a clear need for more study of microbiological risks and the need for clear usage guidelines as programs supporting reusable carrier bags become increasingly advocated in waste reduction strategies. Our findings garnered wide attention, resulting ultimately in the issuance of a HEALTH CANADA ADVISORY and substantial news coverage including an in-depth article by the FRASER INSTITUTE.

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