Nicely phrased “all comprehension flees,” by the way, and I love the idea of your trying to communicate your question in sign language!
Finally, “with the electrical season coming on” is just a brilliant way to end your piece; it reminds me of The Goon Show or Monty Python at their best.
So, I never bothered reading anything in the Reader's “Sporting Box” feature before — it just seemed too boring for words. From now on, though, I’m going to have to take a more considered look at every corner of the @#$%%^&* Reader, before it finds its inevitable way into the recycling bin.
Trash The Bag
In my opinion, you did the San Diego community a real service by researching and reporting on those ghastly and omnipresent plastic bags (“Plague of the Urban Tumbleweeds,” Cover Story, September 11). The first page, explaining the gyre 500 miles west of San Diego, was shocking. Who would believe that there is a huge, floating plastic-bag patch twice the size of North America in the ocean? That was new information to me. The dangers of plastic bags to marine life I did know about already. Someone referred to in your article said that our plastic-bag problem isn’t as bad as that of the third world. Was that supposed to be an argument for not doing anything about it?
I, for one, will make my voice heard with the City of San Diego. What are we waiting for? More information? Your article did an excellent job of providing all the information we need to make a decision to just ban plastic bags. We can all get used to using our own cloth bags. Maybe when people learn that plastic is, in fact, derived from petroleum they will recognize that we can no longer afford this use.
Thank you for a most informative article.
A Plate Of Plastic
I’m so glad you had “Plague of the Urban Tumbleweeds” on your cover (September 11). It’s crucial that this word gets out because I think we’re eating plastic. I mean, if animals are eating it, if fish are eating it, there’s more plastic plankton out there. I hope people wake up to this message, and thank you for putting it out there.
How Rich We Are!
I like all those plastic bags all over the place (“Plague of the Urban Tumbleweeds,” Cover Story, September 11). When the supermarkets ask me whether I want plastic or paper bags, I always ask for plastic. They are so handy and cheap and come in all sizes and colors. We all know about the many cost-benefit studies completed showing demonstrably that plastic bags are better than paper. When I see that plastic-bag litter all over, it reminds me how rich we are. When I see the dead albatrosses on the beach with their rotting skeletons filled with bits and pieces of plastic, it reminds me how stupid that bird must have been to stuff itself with plastic — no calories there.
I liked it in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Peru, and Brazil, plus Ukraine, Moldova, and Armenia (places I worked for 15 years) when I would see poor people carrying plastic bags and then discarding them all over — it made them feel rich too!
One great use for plastic bags is to stuff them full of other plastic bags. Great compressibility… Think of all the jobs that plastic bags create! All those car payments afforded by being able to discard those wonderful plastic bags at will. They are like flags flying, caught on airport fences, declaring how fortunate we are to have our ancestors come back to the surface again to commune with us. We should pass a law having all plastic bags printed up to look like American flags. It’s really neat running after plastic bags in the street in a good wind. They are conveniently designed to act as sails across almost everything. It’s great to be able to rip them to shreds when you are angry at yourself and the world for not recycling. Plus, you can wrap up your other garbage in them, living the great American dream as you chuck your daily bagful down the chute, listening to your garbage hit the other waste in the bin below in your four-story condominium.
Let’s hear it for those plastic bags, a great symbol of our mobile world society! Besides, they are waterproof and make wonderful toys for small children. Don’t hold your breath too long, Sammy.
Tote Into Tote
Hey, I know what we should do with all of those plastic bags (“Plague of the Urban Tumbleweeds,” Cover Story, September 11)! We should use them to make…plastic bags! Think about it! One could weave together about a hundred of them to make one nondisposable bag. Depending on the size of the bag, one could use even more of them. People are now buying cloth or other plastic bags to reuse for groceries. Why not use the original plastic bags in such a way to make nondisposable totes? Or what about weaving them together to make laundry baskets too? The possibilities are endless. I’m going to try this, and I’ll send a pic if it works.