December 18, 2013 |
LONDON -- Paper or plastic? No, not what kind of bag do you want your purchases in; it's what kind of money you'll use to pay for them, at least in Britain. The Bank of England announced Wednesday that, beginning in 2016, it will start issuing polymer banknotes -- in other words, plastic money -- in place of the paper kind. New five-pound bills put into circulation that year will not only feature a portrait of Winston Churchill but should be more resistant against wear and tear and unintended journeys through the washing machine.
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 email@example.com or contact me via Twitter @Davidlaz .
December 9, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Senate on Monday agreed to extend by another decade a ban on plastic guns that can evade traditional security screening, after an effort to include stronger limits was rejected. The renewed Undetectable Firearms Act, which is due to expire at midnight, now goes to President Obama for his signature. First passed in 1988 and signed by President Reagan, the law requires that plastic guns contain enough metal to set off a metal detector or appear in X-ray scanners.
December 1, 2013
Re "Hard data on plastic bags," Editorial, Nov. 27 The Times' suggestion of a study to determine the effects of plastic-bag bans on the municipalities in California that have passed them is an excellent idea. But let's make sure it is truly objective. The study should consider the overall life-cycle impacts of plastic versus reusable bags, including their impact on the environment, jobs and society in general. For example, will cases of salmonella and other food-borne diseases increase because of the greater use of reusable fabric bags?
November 19, 2013 |
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will study a remote island used as an airstrip in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands that is often littered with plastic debris, the first step in a process that could eventually place it on the list of the country's most hazardous sites. In a letter to an environmental group, the agency said it will study Tern Island, part of a coral reef atoll about 550 miles northwest of Honolulu that is a breeding ground for millions of seabirds. The decision came in response to a petition filed last year by the Center for Biological Diversity.
November 19, 2013 |
You didn't think you were going to get rid of Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt that easily, did you? After a few years of relative obscurity, the spotlight-loving couple, a.k.a. "Speidi," from MTV's reality soap "The Hills" are coming back for a one-hour special E! special, "After Shock: Heidi & Spencer," slated for Dec. 9. PHOTOS: Celebrities by The Times According to the network, Montag will spill about her penchant for plastic surgery, which transformed her from an attractive girl-next-door type into something closer to a cartoon fantasy babe from a video game.
November 19, 2013 |
Here's something to celebrate for New Year's Day 2013: The city of L.A. is finally banning plastic bags . Goodbye, and high time too, to those wispy, blow-away plastic bags that wind up in all the wrong places, from treetops to sea turtles' bellies. Happily, the trope that is “paper or plastic?” will become as meaningless as “23 skidoo.” But dear city fathers (and our one city mother, there being only one female elected official in City Hall), can we please, please, not blow this fantastic marketing opportunity and wind up looking lame once again?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 18, 2013 |
With a plastic-bag ban set to go into effect in Los Angeles on the first of the new year, city officials are launching a campaign to get residents in the habit of using reusable totes. The city has teamed up with environmental groups and nonprofit organizations that work with veterans and former gang members to produce a line of bags made from recycled or repurposed materials. Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz, who led the push for the ban and who is now raising money to manufacture the totes, said the bags will be given away for free.
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?
November 4, 2013 |
You've probably seen the images of dolphins caught in abandoned monofilament fishing nets, or of vast areas of plastic trash floating in remote waters of the Pacific, or of sea turtles consuming plastic bags that look remarkably like one of their favorite foods: jellyfish. Or perhaps, after a rainstorm, you've walked on a beach that resembled a landfill. Some 20 million tons of plastic pollution enters the oceans each year, and it's devastating the marine environment. Plastic litter is also costly.