Los Angeles County Confirms Oeko-Tex® Certification For Safe, Reusable Shopping Bag Program

GREENSBORO, N.C. — June 30, 2011 — The County of Los Angeles will require retailers to distribute
reusable carry out bags or recyclable paper bags instead of single use plastic bags. The new
program goes into effect July 1, 2011 for supermarkets and large drugstores and January 1, 2012 for
food stores and pharmacies. To ensure that reusable textile bags are safe for long term consumer
use, L.A. County has approved the Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 as a third party certification of choice
to confirm that reusable textile bags do not contain harmful levels of heavy metal toxins such as
lead or cadmium. L.A. County requires the reusable bags to meet minimum construction and lifetime
performance measures as well so that they last for at least 125 uses.  

In addition to strictly limiting heavy metals in textiles, the Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 also
certifies that textiles have been tested for more than 100 other potentially hazardous substances
such as formaldehyde, phthalates, carcinogenic dyestuffs, and pesticides. Since the bags could be
used for carrying foodstuffs, L.A. County has recommended that they meet the heavy metal limits
specified in the two most stringent Oeko-Tex® certification classes, Class I or Class II, which
apply to textile products intended for close human contact. 

“Not only will Oeko-Tex® certified reusable textile shopping bags be safer for shoppers, they
will ultimately be better for the environment, too,” says Dr. Sam Moore who represents Oeko-Tex® in
North America. “Obtaining Oeko-Tex® certification essentially rules out the use of hazardous
processing chemicals that could leave residues on finished textiles. So the textiles are produced
in a more environmentally-friendly way and, at the end of their useful life, contain no chemicals
that can endanger the environment when they are finally discarded.” 

For more about Oeko-Tex® global textile certifications, visit
www.Oeko-Tex.com. Additional information about L.A. County’s
reusable bag program can be found at

Posted on July 5, 2011

Source: Oeko-Tex