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May 26, 2009

Throttle an environmentalist. But take care to wash your hands when you are done.

As of June 1, the people of Toronto enact out our latest stupidity; an environmental kabuki at the check out counter. Paying five cents a bag to carry home the shopping will be vexing and pointless, I had thought, but mostly harmless in comparison with a plethora of other statist fads that have been imposed upon the Canadian people by our betters (allied with our own ignorance, indifference and self-satisfaction).*

Not so. It turns out the reusable grocery bags of our green masters are a rich source of food poisoning. Also skin infections such as bacterial boils. And allergic reactions. And asthma attacks. And ear infections.

And, in my case, dangerously elevated bile levels.

The study found that 64% of the reusable bags tested were contaminated with some level of bacteria and close to 30% had elevated bacterial counts higher than what's considered safe for drinking water. Further, 40% of the bags had yeast or mold, and some of the bags had an unacceptable presence of coliforms, faecal intestinal bacteria, when there should have been 0.

It is almost as if disposable plastic shopping bags were a miracle product from the future; a product of science and industry meant to save us from all manner of contagious nastiness. In our all too immanent green future, we will be quite literally forced to eat shit and like it.

(via Celestial Junk)

* Excepting those residents of Toronto on a fixed income. As ever, the poor will pay the highest price for the virtue of the Canadian Establishment.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at May 26, 2009 07:54 AM


Meanwhile, how many of all those plastic bags diverted from landfills are now boxed up and sold as small household/kitchen bags? I mean, they didn't go from the grocery store directly to the landfill - they were used as garbage bags on the way to the landfill.

This is really what we've done at home - purchasing plastic bags for kitchen use and other things (such as cat litter).

Posted by: The_Campblog [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 26, 2009 09:52 AM

Most people just aren't cognizant of cross contamination. The NICE thing about disposable items is that if they're handled reasonably well, they don't usually have sources of bacteria or mold on them and are thus clean. Those bags you've re-used and carried on the tram down Dundas to your flat, sitting on the seats or floor are now contaminated with anything people have touched and tracked onto the trolley.

Those bags could probably stand to be washed on a regular basis in something hot and disinfecting. A good washing will also probably remove any growth medium rubbed off from the last shopping trip.

Posted by: Montieth [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 26, 2009 11:50 AM