Dear Reusable Grocery Bag,
We have to talk. It’s just not working. You are hurting me and I can’t stay.
I have done my part. I met you halfway in our romantic romp to save our forests. I stayed with you when the sturdier more ruggedly handsome bags came out in force. I turned down invitations from buff freezer bags! I swabbed you and bathed you in hot water after the meat drippings made you soggy and weak. I thought keeping E. Coli from coming between us would keep our connection pure and support our passion to protect the environment, reduce plastic waste and save trees.
But you weren’t honest with me. You watched me research pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables and avoid the dirty dozen by peeling and washing our produce day after day, meal after meal. You stood by as I installed a faucet water purifier to filter heavy metals from our drinking supply. You led me on, me thinking I was safe, and all the while you were rubbing up against my fresh chard and kale that were unswathed from your charms. My asparagus and avocadoes swooned and tumbled into your depths. And you never told me you were carrying lead. Sometimes up to 15 times the legal limit.
I could have protected myself. If you had told me, I would have used a bag within a bag. I could have switched to my canvas grocery tote with no insert. I could have gone steady with the freezer bag. But, no, I chose you and you left me holding this poisoned bag. You left traces of lead on my farm fresh produce. You tricked me into eating a heavy metal that persists in tissues and harms kidneys and brain development. With other daily exposures, there is no safe level of ingested lead. You snuck in up to 672 parts per million uninvited and are not welcome at my healthy table.
And you told me you love the environment too? These bags are not biodegradable. They linger in the woods and oceans for decades and their residue harms fish and animals.
This can’t go on. Lead is out of my house, my paint, my water and my family. Products harming nature are out of my life. And I want out of this toxic relationship. Take your tainted self and hit the road. And don’t look back unless you like the look of me cuddling up to a burly freezer bag. He may seem cold, but he holds no secrets.