*** Giveaway is now closed. Random.org chose commenter #1, Ang. Now is your chance to use the discount code to reusablebags.com for 10% 0ff. This expires May 11. See the full post for details. ***
I first learned about the issue of lead in lunch bags while visiting reusablebags.com. The Center for Environmental Health in California has tested over 200 vinyl lunch bags and found many of them with high levels of lead (at least 1 in 5). Some even had over 10 times the legal limit for lead paint on children's products! Of major concern is the fact that the highest levels of lead were found on the inside of lunch bags where it can come into contact with food. Lead is a known neurotoxin with hazardous effects even at low levels of exposure. Soft plastics (PVC) are the worst kind, notorious for lead and other stabalizers that are added in their processing. PVC is hazardous from production to disposal and is referred to as the "poison plastic"... not something I want a lunch bag to be made of!
Thankfully there are safe options available. Reusablebags.com sells lead free lunch bags! My husband takes his lunch to school daily and was using a soft vinyl lunch bag that he had gotten from a company he used to work for. Our suspicion that it contained lead, along with the fact that it had his old company's name on it sent us searching for a better lunch bag.
I was impressed with the Acme Large Insulated lunch bag on many levels. It is lead and PVC free and its insulation is made of 100% recycled plastic. With a lifetime guarantee (seriously? on a lunch bag? yep.) and being hand made in the US, I think this is a great choice for a lunch bag. Reusablebags.com offered to send me one to review as well as give away one to my readers! Ross (my husband) chose the blue color above - if you win the giveaway, you'll get to choose your own color.
I'm glad we chose the large rather than the medium insulated ACME bag. Ross likes to take leftovers for lunches instead of sandwiches, so we needed to be able to fit containers of varying sizes inside. It comes with a reusable ice pack that slips down into a pocket on the inside. We didn't need the ice pack since the bag is fairly well insulated, but its a nice feature. I'm in love with the pink version and think it would be great for packing a picnic lunch for me and my girls.
We also received a Laken reusable bottle for review. Laken bottles are BPA and pthalate free and the caps are PVC free polypropylene. They are aluminum with a Poly Aramide lining and are actually 100% recyclable. The inner coating is baked on to prevent flaking or chipping and is taste neutral. The bottle is very lightweight and there are several fun designs as well as colors to choose from. Ross chose the silver .06L classic which is a good size for him.
Reusablebags.com is great website; I love that they have so much information in the FAQ section and the learn more tab at the top. You can find articles on waste free lunches, information on plastics and the environmental impact, and more. Check the FAQ section for more in depth information about the lead in lunch bags issue.
While you're there, take a look at some of the other great items they sell and think about how you can reduce your plastic consumption. That plastic Texas-sized blob in the ocean doesn't need to get any bigger. Try a snackTAXI reusable bag for your kids lunches, or a Wrap-N-Mat instead of ziplocs for sandwiches. To receive 10% off your order at ReusableBags.com just enter the code "onelittleword" in the coupon field at check out. Please note: This offer cannot be combined with other coupon offers and it expires May 11, 2009.
To enter the giveaway for the ACME large insulated lunch bag: leave a comment on this post, being sure that your email address is somehow accessible to me or is included in your post. For an extra entry subscribe to my blog in whichever way you choose and let me know that you did so and how (added me to your igoogle page, google reader, became a follower, etc). Please note this as a second separate comment so that you are given another chance to win! If you're already subscribed in some way that counts too, just let me know that.
This giveaway will close Weds May 6th at 11:59pm and one winner will be randomly chosen. Thanks for stopping by my blog, feel free to browse around and let me know if you find any of it useful.