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Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. has voluntarily withdrawn its private label reusable bags, following a recent report in the Tampa, Fla. Tribune about the high lead content in Winn-Dixie and Publix's bags. The Jacksonville, Fla.-based grocer has instructed any shoppers with concerns about the bags to return them for a full refund or bring them to any of its locations for proper disposal when they’ve finished using them.
“All available research indicates these bags are safe for their intended customer use,” noted Winn-Dixie director of media and public relations Robin Miller. “There is a need, however, to look at this from a long-term environmental perspective to determine if the potential exists that these bags cannot be disposed of safely. For this reason, we feel it’s better to stop selling them now.”
The company said last week that it would work closely with vendors to develop a better solution in accordance with the most stringent industry standards. Winn-Dixie added that it would offer ideas and assist with the creation of any new standards relating to reusable grocery bags.
“Ultimately, the original purpose of reusable bags is to protect the environment,” observed Miller. “We remain dedicated to that mission, believe this response is consistent with that effort, and will continue to pursue solutions that deliver upon that goal.”
Winn-Dixie operates 485 stores, including 379 in-store pharmacies, in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia and Mississippi.