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Many of us who use eco-friendly bags have a bad habit which we may or may not admit to, and that is: we don't wash our bags after we use them. At all. In fact, we're more likely to keep reusing the bags until they are filthy, at which point, they get tossed.
Because of this, researchers at the University of Arizona and Loma Linda University found germy colonies in 99 percent of the bags they tested; half were infected with coliform bacteria, while 8 percent actually tested positive for traces of E coli, which indicates that there could have been some fecal contamination (via USA Today).
Cleveland Clinic's infectious disease expert Susan Rehm says you can blame raw meat for the contamination. She says: "Let's say we've had a 'leaker', one of our chicken containers, or something like that. Well, that all contains bacteria, which contaminates the bag, so the next thing that goes into the bag can also become contaminated."
(Health Essentials — Cleveland Clinic)
To avoid this bacterial build up, or to solve the bacterial problem all together, it is recommend to choose the bags that are washable.
Bags made with soft materials and quick drying are mostly recommended for two reasons:
EASY — machine washable is very important. Life is too busy to hand wash all your bags so why not chose the ones that can be machine washed and save that time for the more precise priorities.
QUICK — quick drying is the key. The purpose of reusable bag is to use it day in and day out. Therefore once your bags been washed, you want it to be dried asap so they are ready for the next use.
Overall, having the right choice of reusable bags is very important. It is not only about keeping our earth green but also maintaining a clean and healthy life style.