Plastic bag recycling rates suck, and recycling is not the answer to the plastic bag problem in the first place. But the plastics industry continues to justify bag production by insisting that voluntary recycling programs are the solution to plastic bag litter and pollution. And this week, after the U.S. EPA released the recycling rates for 2010**, one plastic bag manufacturer is claiming, falsely, that plastic bag recycling has increased. Actually, the opposite is true.
Hilex Poly, the company that sued ChicoBag this year for allegedly reporting false information about plastic bags on its web site (charges which were never proven — but that’s another story) writes in a December 1 blog post, “Thanks to an industry-wide push, we’re happy to announce that the recycling of polyethylene (PE) bags, sacks and wraps increased to 15 percent in the last year!”
But Barbara Mason from ChicoBag analyzed the numbers and… Read the rest
Making my own ketchup has been on my “To Do” list since my last bottle ran out over a year ago. (Clearly, ketchup is not much of a priority in the Terry-Stoler household.) Still, it’s a good condiment to have on hand, and I planned to consult with bloggers Danielle or RobJ who had already started making their own. What I didn’t realize was that just across the San Francisco Bay, my good friend Mark Peters had been making his own ketchup for ages, along with homemade mayo, homemade bread — sans bread machine — and much more. Sometimes I’m so quick to jump online for information I forget about the real life flesh and blood friends who are part of my life. SORRY GUYS! One of my New Years Resolutions is to spend more quality face time with the people I love. And this weekend, I started with Mark.
Yesterday afternoon, I went over to Mark’s house with a bag of tomatoes, an onion, and a willingness to learn. He’d… Read the rest
Clothing is fraught with plastic. From the synthetic fibers the majority of clothing is made from nowadays to the hidden plastic packaging most of us never see, the world of fashion is a plastic-free gal’s nightmare. But I do what I can. And now some companies are listening.
Organic Cotton Clothing
A couple of years ago, I was thrilled to find prAna brand 100% organic cotton clothing (with zero synthetic fibers) at a local Oakland woman’s clothing shop (See Jane Run). (I’m not a high fashionista. I’d live all day in a cotton hoodie and pajama bottoms if I didn’t have a real job.)
The prAna clothes had zero plastic. The zipper was metal. Even the tags were made of fabric and attached with twine instead of plastic.
Avoiding the plastic wrappers
What I didn’t know was that most of prAna’s clothing (like almost all brands of clothing these days) was delivered to the store and to mail-order customers individually… Read the rest
A few weeks ago, reader Kay Pere left the following comment on Facebook:
Beth: I’ve received your “Show Your Plastic Trash Challenge” update emails for a while now. I was hoping it would be encouraging to see so many other people working to reduce their plastic waste. Instead, it’s making me feel vaguely discouraged knowing that even after weeks and weeks of effort so many are still taking pictures PILES of wrappers, tubs, bottles, taps, bags, etc … How do you deal with this and keep your chin up? Just by knowing that it’s better than it would have been?
I agree that seeing how much plastic waste people still end up with while doing their best can be disheartening. But what the Show Your Plastic photos don’t show is how much plastic these guys have actually REFUSED while doing the challenge. One participant, Michelle Cassar from Portugal, sent me a list of all the plastic items she has refused in the past few… Read the rest
I spent Thanksgiving week in Maryland with my family.
Here’s a picture of my dad. He has questions.
(Okay, that photo was taken in Hawaii in 2006 — not Maryland in 2011. But it’s nice, isn’t it?)
So we were at the local Giant Foods grocery store last week, and after I whipped out my handy ChicoBag reusable bags from my purse, the cashier said she thought Maryland was going to start charging a fee for plastic bags, similar to the fee in effect in Washington D.C. Turns out she was almost right. Prince George’s County (where my dad lives) wants to impose a bag fee but must get authorization from the State General Assembly. There will be a hearing this Saturday.
When we got home from the store, my dad looked at my ChicoBags and asked, “So I would need to get twenty of those to replace the twenty plastic bags I bring home from the store?”
I explained that reusable bags are stronger than disposable plastic bags,… Read the rest