Cookie banner

This site uses cookies. Select "Block all non-essential cookies" to only allow cookies necessary to display content and enable core site features. Select "Accept all cookies" to also personalize your experience on the site with ads and partner content tailored to your interests, and to allow us to measure the effectiveness of our service.

To learn more, review our Cookie Policy, Privacy Notice and Terms of Use.

or
clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Gross Fact: When's the Last Time You Washed Your Reusable Bag?

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Sure, using a reusable bag at the grocery store saves plastic from clogging up our landfills and oceans for time indefinite—but have you ever thought about what's accumulating at the bottom of that canvas bag, use, after use, after use?

The University of Arizona tested a bunch of reusable shopping bags in Tucson, Los Angeles, and San Francisco and found that more than half contained potentially harmful bacteria—more than 12% of the bags contained e. coli.

The scientists behind the study—which was funded by the American Chemistry Council to the tune of $30,000—says that shoppers don't need to throw their reusable bags away. There's a simple solution: Don't forget to wash them.
· Like Everything Else In Life, Reusable Shopping Bags Are Full Of Gross Bacteria [Consumerist]