Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Back to plastic? Reusable grocery bags may cause food poisoning

Reusable shopping bags vs. plastic bags is bag in the news again this week. A study by The Environment & Plastics Council showed that reusable store bags contain unusually high amounts of yeast, mold, bacteria that could make users very ill.

"But other significant risks include skin infections such as bacterial boils, allergic reactions, triggering of asthma attacks, and ear infections," he stated.

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.

"The presence of faecal material in some of the reusable bags is particularly concerning," Dr. Summerbell stated. "All meat products should be individually wrapped before being placed in a reusable bag to prevent against leakage. This should become a mandated safety standard across the entire grocery industry."

Beyond, the obvious potential for illness above, recycling bags makes sense from an environmental standpoint during the manfacturing & after life process. Read more about Prism Pak's environmental commitment, along with real, eye-opening, statistics about paper vs. plastic use & recycling, here.

Read the entire article & more study information on this debate:

Read more: http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/theappetizer/archive/2009/05/20/back-to-plastic-reusable-grocery-bags-may-pose-public-health-risk.aspx#ixzz0sF6JMrPW

Back to plastic? Reusable grocery bags may cause food poisoning

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Caveat Emptor

This isn't packaging related in the strictest sense, but I thought it was pretty interesting as a lot of basic packaging comes from China. Over at the China Law blog they detail a few horror stories of how manufacturers don't get precisely what they ordered from China -- if they aren't precise about what to order. It all boils down to some completely different ethical standards operating in China versus here in the US:

One of the things we are always telling our clients who source product to China is to be specific. Always. I talk about how China has levels of quality five levels below anything you would even think possible and for Chinese manufacturers, those levels are normal.

I mention how you can buy shirts (unbelievably cheaply) in China that are pretty much ruined after one washing. I tell them of the company that sought our assistance after receiving USD $500,000 of computer bags whose handles broke pretty much every time they were used to tote a laptop. Or I tell of the company that contacted us when its massive order of Christmas tree lights would not be delivered until mid-December. In both cases, I blamed the US companies for having failed to be specific. In the laptop bag case, the Chinese manufacturer essentially said that if the US company had wanted the bags to have been strong enough to hold a laptop, they should have paid more for them.

I talk about the US company that came to us after discovering its Chinese manufacturer was selling its rejected and unsafe product around the world and had no legal basis to stop this. It had no legal basis to stop it because it had no trademarks in the key countries and because its OEM contract failed to require rejected product be destroyed.

I thought of all those things today after reading "Documents Unsealed in Chinese Drywall Lawsuit." The article's first paragraph says it all:

Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin Co. LTD, a major Chinese drywall manufacturer, urged one of its main U.S. customers, Banner Supply, to sell thousands of sheets of foul-smelling drywall “overseas” after Banner complained about the tainted product, according to documents and depositions unsealed Friday by a Florida circuit court judge in Miami-Dade County. A Banner executive said the offer was refused.

Follow the link for more...