September 13, 2012
Woe to the thirsty of Concord, Mass. Under a bylaw born of convoluted reasoning, a person who heads into a store in that town for some hydration will be able to buy a plastic bottle of soda, but not a similar bottle of what dietitians say should be the drink of choice: water. That's because Concord has become the first city in the United States to ban the sale of serving-size bottled water. It's enough to make New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose proposed ban on the sale of large servings of soda is up for a key vote this week, weep.
August 31, 2012 |
Every year, it seems, the California Legislature can't bring itself to pass meaningful legislation to reduce the number of plastic carryout bags in the state. On year, in fact, the Legislature bowed to the industry and instead of allowing a small fee on the bags, banned cities from imposing fees on them. That's too bad because, as the Times editorial board has pointed out numerous times, a small fee on the bags is the better way to go, as fees in such diverse places as Ireland and IKEA have shown.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 24, 2012 |
Lunch items in the Los Angeles Unified School District have been in flux in recent years - for example, swapping pizza for whole-grain spaghetti - but the sagging plastic foam tray that carried the food survived for decades. That changed too earlier this month, when the foam was switched out for recyclable paper trays at all district schools. District and city leaders made it official during a Thursday lunch-hour announcement at Thomas Starr King Middle School in Los Feliz, where two years ago the activism of some sixth-graders kicked off the effort to ban plastic foam trays.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 21, 2012 |
West Hollywood has become the latest in a string of California cities - including Santa Monica, Long Beach and Pasadena - to ban single-use plastic bags at store checkout lines. The City Council adopted an ordinance Monday night prohibiting hundreds of pharmacies and grocery and retail stores - including clothing stores and newsstands - in the 1.9-square-mile city from distributing the bags. The ordinance was approved as part of the council's consent calendar, along with routine items.
August 19, 2012 |
Maybe you've always suspected that there was more to San Diego's North County than beach towns, rolling hills, expat giraffes and a walled kingdom of brightly colored plastic. But frankly, they had me at beach towns. I always figured the rest - even the two marquee attractions, Legoland in Carlsbad and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park near Escondido - was just gravy. Or icing on the cake. Or maybe, given San Diego's love of beer, the chaser after the pint. But now I've spent several days on and off the beaches, and it looks as if you're right: San Diego County's northern reaches, beginning above La Jolla and ending at Camp Pendleton, deserve more attention than they get. So here are 11 micro-itineraries, which are the latest addition to our ongoing Southern California Close-Up series.
July 13, 2012
Does Canada's plastic money have a heat problem? According to reports in the Canadian news, the polymer bills are melting in extreme heat -- shriveling up like bacon, and occasionally sticking together when left in a hot car. "We have seen it a few times now where there have been either three to four, or five to 10 [bills] all melted together," Brittney Halldorson, a teller at a Credit Union in Kelowna, B.C., told Metro Ottowa. A man in Halifax told the Toronto Star that when he left the money on a toaster, it curled up like a Coke bottle.
June 5, 2012 |
Five of the country's biggest companies are throwing their weight behind plants. In the name of eco-friendliness, the Coca-Cola Co., Ford Motor Co., H.J. Heinz Co., Nike Inc. and Procter & Gamble have banded together to develop and use plant-based PET plastics in products including bottles, apparel, footwear, automotive fabrics and carpets. PET, known officially as polyethylene terephthalate, is a durable and lightweight resin. Plant-based versions don't require petroleum, as many other plastics do. Coke's current PlantBottle initiative draws from a similar idea and uses packaging partially made from a material derived from sugar cane.
May 26, 2012
Re "L.A. OKs ban on plastic bags at checkout," May 24 It's troubling to see the Los Angeles City Council regulate commerce under the guise of protecting the environment. Not only is it affecting business in a negative way with its plastic-bag ban, but it is also imposing a fee on the consumer by mandating a charge on paper bags for them to complete their purchase. The only ones who will benefit economically from this ban will be the makers of reusable bags, many of which are located overseas in countries such as China.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 23, 2012 |
A lobbyist representing a consortium of plastic bag producers was roaming the halls of Los Angeles City Hall this week, trying to torpedo Wednesday's anticipated City Council vote to ban the ubiquitous, flimsy flower that litters the urban landscape and fouls the seashore. Naturally, environmentalists were in a tizzy, fearing the worst outcome while hoping for the best. Under the proposal by Councilman Paul Koretz, paper bags would also be banned, and Los Angeles would become a national leader in the proliferation of reusable bags.