No More Paper Or Plastic

April 25, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Paper or plastic isn't the only choice for grocery shoppers any more.Now you can pick from a variety of environmentally friendly re-usable bags.

Plastic bags and wrap, along with paper bags, account for more than four million tons of waste a year!

You can take a reusable bag to the grocery store, but most people don't. You can buy reusable bags at many grocery stores for about a dollar.

Consumer Reports took a look to see if reusable bags can stand the test of time.

Testers evaluated eight bags from stores around the country, including Target, Wal-Mart, and Trader Joe's.

First, testers measured the capacity of each bag. All of the bags could hold much more than a plastic bag, but beware.

And this leak test proved a challenge. Testers poured one tablespoon of milk into each bag. This one, from Wal-Mart, leaked like a sieve! Another bag had a different problem.

That makes it hard to clean! But other bags didn't leak and spills could be wiped up.

Testers also evaluated strength. After loading the bags up with 28 pounds of flour sacks and canned tomatoes, they topped off each with a two-pound weight.

This mechanical arm lifted every bag up and down 500 times. All the bags held up, with no torn seams or broken straps.

So a buck can go a long way toward keeping plenty of waste out of landfills.

An added bonus Consumer Reports said some stores give you a credit for using a reusable bag. It's usually just a penny or two, but hey, it all adds up.

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