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HEALTH
March 28, 2014 | By Dana Sullivan Kilroy
If you're in the market for an alternative to plastic or metal water bottles, here are a few options: Lifefactory Flip Top Holds 22 ounces; weighs 19 ounces unfilled, $24.99 The cap at the mouthpiece is attached but flips back for sipping. The bottles are slightly curved, making them easy to hold. www.lifefactory.com/catalog/flip-cap CamelBak Eddy Holds 24 ounces; weighs 18.4 ounces unfilled, $24.95 Made with CamelBak's signature bite valve: Just bite and sip; no tipping required.
ARTICLES BY DATE
HEALTH
March 29, 2014 | Dana Sullivan Kilroy
There's a reason wine and spirits are stored in glass: purity of taste. Plastic (and, to a lesser degree, metal) can impart various "flavors" into the liquids it comes into contact with. But that's just one reason that glass is an increasingly popular alternative to plastic and aluminum or stainless steel sport-style bottles. Another is peace of mind. About five years ago, scientists and the Food and Drug Administration started issuing warnings about bisphenol A, commonly called BPA, a chemical used in plastics and in the linings of some metal vessels.
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OPINION
August 24, 2009 | Emily Monosson, Emily Monosson, an independent toxicologist, runs "The Neighborhood Toxicologist" blog.
My daughter and I recently made the annual back-to-school pilgrimage to the local big-box office store, and I am appalled. For me, the leathery smell of new shoes stirs sweet pangs marking those precious last days of summer; for my children, it likely will be the smell of vinyl and assorted plastics. As a child of the 1960s, when plastics had yet to touch every aspect of our lives, my pencils and rulers were made of wood; my binders, cardboard and fabric; my book bag, canvas, and back-to-school shopping wasn't a major industry, let alone a "season."
HEALTH
March 28, 2014 | By Dana Sullivan Kilroy
If you're in the market for an alternative to plastic or metal water bottles, here are a few options: Lifefactory Flip Top Holds 22 ounces; weighs 19 ounces unfilled, $24.99 The cap at the mouthpiece is attached but flips back for sipping. The bottles are slightly curved, making them easy to hold. www.lifefactory.com/catalog/flip-cap CamelBak Eddy Holds 24 ounces; weighs 18.4 ounces unfilled, $24.95 Made with CamelBak's signature bite valve: Just bite and sip; no tipping required.
SCIENCE
August 1, 2013 | By Louis Sahagun
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.
FOOD
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.
BUSINESS
December 17, 2013 | By David Lazarus
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 asklaz@latimes.com or contact me via Twitter @Davidlaz .  
BUSINESS
March 15, 2011 | From Times wire reports
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.
BUSINESS
March 15, 2011 | By Gregory Karp
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 22, 1990
In honor of Earth Day, may I extend to the Los Angeles Times both an orchid and, unfortunately, a small onion? First, an orchid for your strong support of resource recycling and conservation. These goals make increasing economic as well as environmental sense, and your support is greatly appreciated. However, could I encourage you to include conservation a bit more in your procedures (and save money at the same time)? I am referring to the fact that my home delivered copy of The Times arrives every day, rain or shine, encased in a plastic bag. Since in San Diego there are far more shiny days than rainy ones, the expenditure on plastic bags is perhaps three or four times greater than it needs to be. Why such a waste?
OPINION
March 6, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
If you're going to San Francisco, be sure to carry a water bottle there. Why? Because the Board of Supervisors voted this week to ban the sale of single-use bottles of water in city buildings and parks and at city-permitted events, making San Francisco the largest municipality in the country to phase out plastic water bottles. The ban will cover indoor events starting Oct. 1, and will be extended to all events by 2016. There would be exceptions for some sports outings, such as foot races, and planners could apply for waivers if they can't secure a water supply.
OPINION
February 28, 2014 | By Charlotte Allen
There's a war against Legos. I know what you're thinking: How could anyone have a beef with those colorful, plastic toy bricks with which you can build cities, stage your own Bible stories or reenact the Trojan War, the Civil War or Star Wars? And hasn't "The Lego Movie" been No. 1 at the box office for three straight weeks? But here's Lego's problem: The main market for the $4 billion company's traditional plastic bricks and mini-figures is boys. Certainly some girls enjoy making castles or skyscrapers out of the bricks, just like their brothers, but in 2011, Lego's market research boys found that 90% of Lego users were boys.
HOME & GARDEN
February 15, 2014 | Anne Colby and Lisa Boone
That trip to Paris. A memorable meal. Her first swim lesson. The reunion of far-flung family members that may never happen again. Thanks to the ease and ubiquity of digital and smartphone cameras, we are capturing precious memories and others more ordinary at an increasing rate. The question becomes how best to preserve, organize and enjoy these pictures -- along with those taken before the dawn of the Digital Age (not so long ago, really). Here are a few ideas. -- (BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)
BUSINESS
February 13, 2014 | Ricardo Lopez
California is lining up to become the largest state to ban the sale of cosmetic products, such as facial scrubs, containing tiny plastic beads that find their way into waterways and the ocean. Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) plans to introduce a bill Thursday that would ban the sale of products containing the microbeads, which are too small to be removed by water treatment processes after they drain out of sinks and showers. A New York legislator introduced a similar measure Tuesday after scientists found high concentrations of the tiny exfoliating beads in the state's lakes and other waters.
BUSINESS
February 9, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
Next time you get a drink on a United Airlines, flight you may notice a new cup in your hand. In an effort to become more eco-friendly, United is replacing its foam cups with recyclable plastic cups. United is not the only airline thinking about air travel's effect on the environment. Southwest Airlines has converted diesel-burning ramps, belt-loaders and other equipment to electric power and recently installed plane seats and interiors made with recyclable material. Delta Air Lines recycles some of its waste and donates money generated to Habitat for Humanity, the nonprofit home building charity.
NEWS
January 30, 2014 | By Ted Rall
It looks to be the end of the plastic grocery bag as we know it, at least in California. The Assembly appears to have struck a deal in which Californians would pay at least a dime for each recycled paper or reusable plastic bag they get at the grocery store. The currently ubiquitous single-use plastic bags that have bedeviled litter-control types and environmentalists would be prohibited. That's a lot of bags. Californians use an estimated 12 billion single-use plastic bags each year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 2, 2011 | By Tony Barboza, Los Angeles Times
Southern California researchers found plastic in nearly 1 in 10 small fish collected in the Pacific Ocean in the latest study to call attention to floating marine debris entering the food chain. The study published this week by scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego estimated that fish in the middle depths of the northern Pacific Ocean are ingesting as much as 24,000 tons of plastic each year. Although the research found a lower percentage of plastic-fouled fish than previous studies, it is the latest to quantify how many fish are eating marine garbage — most of it confetti-sized flecks of discarded plastic — that has accumulated in vast, slow-moving ocean currents known as gyres.
BUSINESS
November 13, 2013 | By David Lazarus
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?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 23, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO - Many more Californians would have to pay for paper or reusable plastic bags at the grocery store under a new agreement by key state lawmakers that would ban other plastic bags. After three unsuccessful attempts to outlaw single-use plastic grocery bags statewide, legislators announced a compromise Thursday that they said appears headed for passage. Their proposal would impose a 10-cent fee on alternative bags while banning single-use plastic bags. "This breaks a decade-long deadlock on a statewide solution," said Mark Murray, executive director of Californians Against Waste.
NEWS
January 6, 2014 | By Ted Rall
On New Year's Day, Los Angeles became the biggest city in the United State to ban plastic bags. Mayhem was anticipated. OK, not mayhem. Just extreme agitation. "If they don't give me a bag, what am I going to do?" The Times quoted an "incredulous" William Macary as saying at a Wal-Mart back in June. "If I pay money, I want a bag. " I feel for him. If I pay money, I want a pony. And a car. And those $350 Italian shirts I lust for when I go to Vegas. YEAR IN REVIEW: Ted Rall's five best cartoons of 2013 Believe it or not, plastic bags were originally introduced as the eco-friendly alternative to paper bags.
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