At Hilex Poly, we practice and believe in educating people about the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling plastic bags. If you don’t need a bag for an item, skip it! If you can reuse your plastic grocery bag for pet waste or as a bin liner, do it! If you can recycle your plastic bags at a nearby retailer, great!
As Mark Daniels mentioned in his blog post back in February, Going Beyond Recycling, there are many instances in which plastic bags can and should be reused in creative and practical ways. However, there are also times when plastic bags have a clear advantage over other grocery bag options, particularly when it comes to ensuring a bag is sanitary. Plastic bags are often the most convenient choice for consumers because they can be confident that the plastic bag they receive is a clean and unused product.
Plastic bags are also a healthy and safe option in the instance that raw meat or fish leak inside a grocery bag. In fact, according to a study conducted by Dr. Charles Gerba at the University of Arizona, 50 percent of reusable bags contain foodborne bacteria and 12 percent of reusable bags contain e. coli. Oftentimes, busy parents do not have time to clean the inside of a reusable bag or the countertop before or after use. This can inadvertently spread foodborne bacteria that leaked from inside the packaging of raw meat or fish and can contaminate raw fruits or vegetables as well as kitchen surfaces. As it has been picked up in mainstream media, foodborne bacteria can have serious health implications for parents and families if reusable bags are not properly cleaned after every use.
Fortunately, consumers don’t have to worry about cleaning their plastic bags before use! If plastic bags become contaminated, they can be easily recycled at a local plastic bag recycling bin. The plastic bags are then transported to a recycling facility where the bags are sterilized before being recycled into brand new bags!