The Rise and Fall of the Reusable Grocery Bag

I witnessed PR in the making today by sheer coincidence. It was so exciting, it gave me goosebumps and at that precise moment, the needle on my nerd monitor spiked.

There I was on search.twitter.com, up to my neck in research and popular opinion on reusuable grocery bags, when in the matter of minutes it changed. Breaking news shot out over the Twitter waves from CNW, declaring reusable grocery bags a health hazard.

Reusable washable grocery bag

As this message spread out over the Twitter waves, I found myself up to my neck in dissenting opinion about reusable grocery bags. The National Post was quick to get the message out, and then, a couple of hours later came the damage control and this article in the Toronto Sun stating “the plastics industry is fighting back against the growing popularity of reusable grocery bags with a study that warns of health risks.”

As a sigh of relief filtered out over the Twittersphere, public opinion turned to common sense — of course it makes sense, the obvious solution is to wash your reusable bags and don’t use them for anything else like transporting your sweaty gym clothes. I can’t imagine the kind of skanky-assed bags they must have conducted their tests on. You think something like “the presence of fecal matter” would have a certain odor.

Nevertheless, to see this whole situation play out in real time, as I sat there recording every detail of it, is something I don’t think happens too often. It was quite the thrill. Yes, I’m a nerd, but at least I don’t poop in my grocery bags.

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