Call it the Dumpster dive opportunity of a decade or the dumbest government decision since the war, but according to an article in the Los Angeles Times, as of Feb. 10, thrift stores, re-use stores and Goodwills are going to have to toss out all their used kids clothes and toys.
That’s right, just in time for the worst recession in American history, Congress and the Bush Administration are apparently banning thrift stores from selling used kid stuff.
Here’s the background: After last year’s scare about lead in everything from lunchboxes to T-shirts, Congress passed a law demanding that retailers verify that all children’s products are lead-free.
In practice, that means that all children’s products sold after Feb. 10 have to be tested for lead. It costs upwards of $1,000 to get the test done, per batch of product. That’s not a big cost for Mattel, one of the manufacturers actually found to have sold products with lead. But it is a big deal to people who hand-make toys, games, and clothes. In other words, it’s a big deal to the type of folks least likely to make products anybody has to worry about.It’s an even bigger deal to consignment shops and thrift stores, because they can’t go around spending $1,000 to test a $1 hoodie. Their only apparent choice? Toss it out.