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One Word: Plastics 


Regarding "Recycling's New Reality" (Nov. 21). I couldn't help but notice the word "plastic." I mean, maybe six or eight times in almost every paragraph? It is obvious that plastic is the recycling industry's major stumbling block. But plastic is in nearly everything. From toys to tools, packaging to parts, building materials to machinery encasements. I am typing on plastic keys and reading what I wrote on a plastic screen. Where would we all be without plastic? Worldwide!

Probably 99 percent of plastic is made from a petroleum by-product. I bet the petroleum industry is pleased that it can sell its waste, oops, I mean by-product worldwide.

How much better to profit from your waste than have to deal with it in a safe, environmentally friendly way? That is left up to the recycling industry.

One word I didn't hear in the whole article was biodegradable, as in biodegradable plastic. Plastic made from hemp or corn. Of course, the petroleum industry uses corn for the ethanol additive to gasoline. Chalk up another one to the petroleum industry. And it's even kinda good for the environment.

Which brings us back to hemp. Coincidentally, there was even an article in the same NCJ issue about the growing of hemp right here in Humboldt County ("Supes Punt on Hemp Ordinance"). Not that I think that is a good idea. Let's leave that to the Central Valley and the vast farmlands of middle America. But let us all agree, it is much better that all of our plastic be made to melt in water or even just returned to the Earth. As consumers, let's demand that our plastics be made to biodegrade, thereby closing the loop.

Roy Marin, Eureka

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