August 1, 2013 |
A team of researchers in Woods Hole, Mass., has discovered a novel ecological habitat flourishing in one of the fastest growing segments of civilization's toxic waste stream: plastic marine debris. Welcome to the Plastisphere, a biological wilderness on microbial reefs of polyethylene and polypropylene in the open ocean teeming with single-celled animals, fungi and bacteria, many of them newly discovered. Some may be pathogens hitching rides on floating junk. The effects of plastic debris on fish, birds, turtles and marine mammals that ingest it are well documented.
December 17, 2013 |
Rick went to the gas station the other day. He saw that there was one price for paying in cash, another for paying with plastic. And the plastic price was 10 cents a gallon higher. He wants to know: Is that legal? Sort of. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions In California, merchants are prohibited from charging a premium for using a credit card. So that would make the higher gas price illegal. But there's a big, fat loophole in the law. Check out today's Ask Laz video to find out what it is. If you have a consumer question, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me via Twitter @Davidlaz .
March 15, 2011 |
Lean Cuisine has ordered more than 10,000 pounds of its frozen spaghetti and meatball entrees recalled, according to the Department of Agriculture. The dishes are said to possibly contain foreign material. The company received complaints from consumers about hard plastic in the dinners. No injuries were reported. The spaghetti is produced by Nestle and was shipped to stores east of the Rocky Mountains. The complains have come from consumers in Wisconsin, Minnesota and South Dakota.
March 1, 2012
Some recipes, such as the Bouchon crème caramel, call for baking foods in pans that have been sealed with plastic wrap to hold in the moisture. It works well - as long as you have access to the right kind of plastic wrap. Unfortunately, when we tested the recipe with common supermarket brands - even those that were labeled microwave-safe - we found that the plastic wraps split and melted. To be sure, we tried baking three wraps at temperatures of 300, 350 and 400 degrees. The only wrap that didn't fail was Smart & Final's First Street brand.
March 15, 2011 |
It's an environmental as well as a marketing achievement: using 100% agricultural waste to make a top-quality plastic bottle that can then be placed back in the existing recycling system. "It's closing the loop," said Allen Hershkowitz, a senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council. "It's the beginning of the end for petroleum-based plastic bottles. " PepsiCo announced Tuesday that it had "cracked the code," inventing what it calls the world's first plastic bottle made entirely from plant-based, fully renewable resources.
November 13, 2013 |
Michael has a credit card he hasn't used in about two years. It has no balance but it does have a $6 monthly fee. Michael's question: If he cancels the card, will it affect his credit score? ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions Generally speaking, creditors get fidgety anytime someone cancels plastic. They suspect that you're carrying beaucoup debt and thus represent a greater risk. So your credit score can go down. Should you worry? And how many credit cards should you have?