The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

Category Archives: Rants

October 10, 2013

Plastic in Austin Hotels and Restaurants

Tuesday morning, I met up with Daniella Russo, executive director of the Plastic Pollution Coalition, for breakfast at her hotel, the Hyatt Place near the Austin Convention Center.  Here’s a photo of Daniella’s breakfast:

From a distance, the dishes look like ceramic and glass, right? Nope. All plastic. Even the mug meant to hold hot coffee… plastic.… Read the rest

September 25, 2013

Another Trader Joe’s Rant. This Time It’s Ice Cream.

Okay, before you read my ice cream rant, please sign the petition asking Trader Joe’s to reduce its plastic produce packaging. After my own produce packaging rant last year, I didn’t have time to start a campaign, but luckily others at the Plastic Pollution Coalition did!

Okay… the ice cream…

Usually, my home ice cream consumption looks something like this…… Read the rest

July 16, 2013

Dear Lotus Foods, Why Package Healthy Stainless Steel in Toxic Styrofoam?

Dear Lotus Foods:

My husband and I used our old rice cooker a lot.  We used it so much, that we burned out the fuse and had to replace it.  I was pretty stoked about being able to fix our appliance and make it last longer instead of tossing it out.  So recently, when the connection between the machine and the power cord started to get loose (and we had to lay something heavy on the power cord to keep the machine from cutting off each time we used it), I told Michael that I was going to see if I could fix it again.  But Michael’s reply surprised me.  This time he said, “Why don’t we just recycle it and get a new stainless steel one?”

Repair vs. Recycle

See, there is a trade off sometimes.  It may be gentler on the planet to fix things and make them last as long as possible rather than replacing them when they break.  But if the old things are made of materials that might possibly be toxic to our health (plastic containers, for example, or aluminum… Read the rest

July 17, 2012

Starbucks Trash: Behind the Scenes

Last week, I received an email from a new Starbucks employee who was shocked by the amount of waste she sees at the store everyday. Many of us do our individual part by bringing our reusable mugs for coffee, but it turns out that, according to this employee (who wants to remain anonymous to keep her job), the waste goes much deeper. I asked if I could share her rant here with you all. I’m not sure how to get Starbucks to clean up its act, but maybe you guys have some suggestions.

Jul 12 (5 days ago)

To: Beth Terry From: [name withheld]


I recently started working at Starbucks, which sells itself as an eco-friendly, green company to the general public. Since I began work there, I have been disgusted every day with the amount of waste, not only of cups, lids, straws, and hot drink sleeves, but also by the packaging of many things that are used in the store every day.  Many things which we sell come  packaged individually wrapped, in a box of five (like… Read the rest

May 3, 2012

This Summer… Go to the Beach but Leave Your Turtleback and Other Plastics at Home

Would you believe there is a company not only producing plastic products for the beach, but actually promoting them using a photo of an ocean wave sweeping one of their plastic gizmos, filled with a disposable plastic cup, towards the sea?

I wasn’t planning on posting a rant today, as I’m leaving in a few hours for my semi-annual silent meditation retreat, but I got all fired up after I and several friends left comments on Turtleback’s Facebook page explaining how plastic pollutes the ocean and asking the company to reconsider its product materials, as well as marketing images.  I would have probably just been satisfied to leave my comment and drop the issue, until I discovered that Turtleback had removed our comments and banned us from further interaction on its page!  That kind of censorship from a company is dishonest and irresponsible, regardless of the product in question.

What’s Wrong with Turtleback?

Turtleback… Read the rest

November 19, 2008

Guest Post – Fake Plastic Wishbones?

Turns out the cold I thought I had is actually a mild case of pneumonia. Thanks very much to blogger Rejin Leys from Urban Botany who filled in for me tonight with a post about a crazy new plastic product being promoted by, of all organizations, PETA.

This week, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) held a contest and awarded 5 lucky winners each a package of 10 “vegan” wishbones, so they can fully participate in Thanksgiving Day festivities without having to touch “the awful real thing.”

Regular readers of FPF will immediately spot the problem with this, right? Fake Plastic Wishbones? As Beth and other anti-plastic pollution activists have pointed out so many times, the world is already drowning in useless plastic crap. Why do companies keep dreaming up and producing more? And most perplexingly, what is an animal rights advocacy organization doing marketing that plastic crap for the Lucky Break Wishbone … Read the rest

March 19, 2008

A Rant on Shaving and the Power of Advertising

The next two posts have been inspired by entries on the Life Less Plastic blog. Today’s, by the comments on shaving, and tomorrow’s in response to her post on composting.

So here we go. Back in August, I posted Plastic-free Shaving, Part 1, about my solution for plastic-free hair removal: a metal safety razor from a second-hand store and stainless steel blades. I had intended to write Part 2 after I had tested the various plastic-free shave soaps out there and decided which one worked best for me.

Well, I’ve now tried Simmons, Williams, and Lush Emperor of Ice Cream soap and found them all equally effective. I think any rich soap with a good lather and enough moisturizing oils will work fine. The point is to help the blade travel over the skin smoothly.

So this isn’t Part 2 of Plastic-free shaving. Instead, it’s a comment on my experience shaving this way so far and a rant about the ways advertisers manipulate us into believing… Read the rest

March 11, 2008

Batter Blaster – What’s wrong with this picture?

Batter Blaster. It’s organic. It’s fast and easy. Just squirt into a pan and fry up some pancakes in seconds rather than minutes. What could be better?

I first read about Batter Blaster back in January on the Organic Picks blog. Cindy expressed total disdain for the product, as did I in my comment on her blog where I wrote, “That is just wrong on SO MANY LEVELS!” My comment caught the attention of a certain Associated Press reporter who emailed me for a follow up. This weekend, her story, including my comment, was published by news outlets large and small, from Fox News, AOL, and San Francisco Examiner, to Ventura County Star, The Sacramento Bee, The San Diego Union-Tribune, and Bakersfield Californian. All I can say is, it must have been a slow news day.

As I stated in my comment, it’s not like pancake-making the traditional way is a slow process. In this CNet video comparing canned Batter Blaster with traditional batter-making,… Read the rest

October 19, 2007

Creeping around the kitchen on Pacific Time

Up early this morning because of the 3-hour time difference, I had nothing better to do than snoop through my parents’ cupboards and refrigerator forgaging for food. Determined to get through this trip somewhat plastickly unscathed, I’ll have to stick to a banana, a glass of water, and a piece of my sister Fran’s homemade apple pie until she arrives later today with unpackaged food for making dinner.

Here’s how my dad feels about the whole plastic reduction project. And yeah, that’s his middle finger in the corner:

And here are a few more choice finds:

I’m not picking on my family. They are not so different from most Americans. They like convenience. And now that my parents are retired, they would rather use disposable tableware to avoid having to wash dishes. Plastic cutlery, styrofoam ice cream bowls, styrofoam or paper plates…. My dad seems to understand the problems of plastic, but I think he feels… Read the rest

September 20, 2007

Mixed Messages – Assemblywoman Hancock’s Forum on the Health of San Francisco Bay

Last night, I attended a public meeting called “Troubled Waters: A Forum on the Health of the San Francisco Bay.” Along with Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, who presented the forum, the panel consisted of Harold Gilliam, a journalist; David Lewis, the executive director of Save The Bay; Shin-Roei Lee, chief of the SF Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board’s South Bay division; and Dejal Choksi, staff attorney for Baykeeper. They presented information about sources of pollution in the bay, the largest of which is urban runoff, which brings huge quantities of wildlife-harming plastic trash, motor oil, pesticides, and other contaminants into our waterways. A Water Board pilot study found an average of three pieces of trash along every foot of Bay Area streams.

While I appreciated the thought that went into presenting these speakers to us, I was more struck by the irony of what I saw when I first stepped through the auditorium … Read the rest