A Quebec controversy about Ziploc bags, eco-friendliness, and how to teach young children has gone international after the story was picked up by the U.S. media.


'I was putting the sandwich inside the Ziploc bag and he said 'Mom! You can't use a Ziploc bag in my lunch!' ' —Isabel Theoret

ABC News is the latest news outlet to focus on the family of Isabel Theoret, a Laval, Que., mother of two, who was going through the routine of packing lunches last week when her 6-year-old son stopped her in her tracks.

"I was putting the sandwich inside the Ziploc bag and he said, 'Mom! You can't use a Ziploc bag in my lunch!,' " she told CBC News.

Theoret learned that there was a draw for a teddy bear at her son's kindergarten class, but that if you had a plastic bag in your lunch you weren't eligible.

"The goal was around environment," she said. "However, my boy is six years old so he doesn't understand, or he didn't remember that it was around environment. All he understands is that if he [has] a Ziploc bag he won't get the [teddy bear]."

Theoret believes it was a harsh way for their six-year-old to learn about protecting the environment.

Official stance is to avoid Ziploc

The Laval School Board did not respond to a request for comment.

As a part of their information on healthy lunches, some Montreal school boards have suggestions on how to prepare eco-friendly lunches.  The Commission scolaire de Montreal offers tips on their website, suggesting that parents use reusable containers and stay away from Ziploc bags.

The family normally sends lunches in Tupperware containers but they were in the wash, Theoret said.

The father, Marc-André Lanciault, wrote about the incident on his French-language blog, Notre Vie (Our Life), where the story had received 74 comments as of Wednesday morning, as well as attention from blogs and national media in both Canada and the U.S.

ABC reported that Lanciault declined an interview with them, saying the story had "grown to unexpected proportions."