Green Tip: Reusable Bag Dilemma
Oregon investigators have traced an outbreak of norovirus to a reusable grocery bag that members of a Beaverton girls’ soccer team passed around when they shared cookies. So now what?
ADJUSTING YOUR REUSABLE BAG REGIMEN
“What this report does is it helps raise awareness of the complex and indirect way that norovirus can spread,” said Aron Hall, an epidemiologist with the Division of Viral Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
His agency says the best way to fend off the virus is thorough hand-washing and cleaning contaminated surfaces with a bleach-based solution. Read more HERE. HOW TO WASH YOUR REUSABLE BAGS
I reached out to my go-to certified Master Recycler, Peggy La Point. Naturally she has advice at her finger tips.
Peggy says, she's "washed & lined dried the canvas bags along w/the ones I get at Fred Meyer/New Seasons. I guess those are cotton. The plastic-y ones that you can't put in the wash can be wiped down w/vinegar or a water/bleach mixture. I don't use bleach, so I'd use vinegar. Just wipe it down once a week.
And Peggy reminds us, "you can't forget the most important thing ... wash your hands before you eat."
By the way, Peggy suggests the vinegar should be mixed w/water. She keeps a spray bottle of vinegar/water by her kitchen sink. See that advice echoed below. WASHING TIPS
•Wash them, just like dish-towels. Think of your grocery totes just like you’d think about dish towels in the kitchen, and toss them in the laundry as often.
•Disinfect the plastic ones. Bleach. Bleach, bleach, bleach. Or, if you’re looking for an eco-friendly solution for plastic reusable bags, use a spray bottle filled with a strong solution of vinegar and a little water. Spray the whole bag, inside and out, and let it dry. Then, wipe it away with a clean cloth.
•Dry them out. Stuffing recently-used (and frequently damp) bags back into the boot of your car, or into a drawer somewhere is just asking for bacteria. Instead, let them line-dry somewhere up and away from other stuff in your house.
•In a pinch, grab a Lysol wipe. Say you get to the grocery store and you realize you didn’t clean your bags before you came. It’s not too late! Grab one of those Lysol or other disinfecting wipes that they have for carts and give your bag a wipe. It’s not a perfect solution, and you should still wash your hands before you touch your mouth or fact, but it’ll help cut down on any bacteria you may have come in with.
Thanks to Blisstree.