The news broke over a month ago: those eco-bags we’re being given by retailers may contain unacceptable levels of lead.
Now, Lululemon is the first retailer to take them back. And other retailers are following suit.
Starting just before Christmas, Lululemon began accepting returns of both the small and large Ambassador shopping bags, as well as the Iviva Athletica shopper bag at retail locations across Canada and the US. The sturdy bags are very popular for re-use and are commonly seen carrying lunches, groceries and more.
The company stopped handing the bags out December 18, citing concerns about the possibility of lead contamination. Only bags given out at stores in the last year are at issue, as they were made by a different bag manufacturer than older ones. The stores will provide you with a (presumably lead-free) replacement bag. You can see if your Lululemon bag is among those affected by the recall here.
Shortly afterwards, Sears Canada announced that they, too, were recalling certain shopping bags due to lead content. Unlike Lululemon, whose bags were given out free to customers with purchases, Sears bags were sold to customers for around $1 each.
Both Lululemon and Sears state that the bags pose no danger to consumers. However, the possible presence of lead in the bags means that extra precautions need to be taken during disposal, and thus with the recall, the retailers are ensuring proper disposal takes place.
Odds are we’ll hear more of these recalls in the New Year. In the meantime, if you have any of these bags, it’s best to stop using them if possible. A better option is always a washable fabric bag.
Photo credit: Lululemon.com