To the Editor
May 29, 2012
Say no to the plastic bag ban
I do not agree with a letter in the May 2 Press. So I checked out the letter’s reference to the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” What I found was there is plastic trash floating in the Pacific Ocean, but claims that the patch is the size of Texas are grossly exaggerated, according to an analysis by an Oregon State University scientist.
Further claims that the oceans are filled with more plastic than plankton, and that the patch has been growing tenfold each decade since the 1950s are equally misleading, according to Angelicque White, an assistant professor of oceanography at Oregon State.
“It is simply inaccurate to state that plastic outweighs plankton, or that we have observed an exponential increase in plastic,” White said.
The letter writer did not address the path that Issaquah plastic bags have to take, to make it to the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” Therefore, since Lake Sammamish is not full of plastic bags, as the only path to the Pacific Ocean, the writer’s claim seems to be unfounded and plastic bags in Issaquah are OK as is. (Note: Plastic bags can be saved at home and then put as many as possible into one plastic bag and tie them off, then place them in the “recycle bin” for pickup each week.)
Fred Meyer will pay you a nickel a bag if you use your own bag, so why does their use of plastic bags continue? (Because plastic bags are more economical for their business.) Before plastic bags the only bags available were paper. Now the letter writer wants to go back to using tree materials more and then charging for them, too. Some businesses do only use paper, so if you don’t want plastic, shop at those places.
City Council you sure have my support to defeat the ban on plastic bags. There are too many regulations already.
Manage your litter and no ban is needed
Don’t be mad; get Glad!
Remember that advertising slogan for Glad trash bags? No matter where I have lived, there is one thing that I absolutely hate (because it can be avoided) — leaky trash. I have too many other tasks than to clean up the smelly kitchen can, the sticky trail and the stinky garbage bin.
I can suggest some good uses for plastic grocery bags: garbage wrap, pot-luck dish wrap and transport bag, transplant pot liner, vehicle trash bag, dirty laundry sorter, wet umbrella or head cover, shoe bag, book wrap, lunch wrap. Especially here in the rainy Northwest, those bags can be easily rolled up into a tiny bundle for future protection. The most worthwhile project I’ve come across is from a granny group that carefully cuts these bags into strips and crochets them into sleeping mats for the homeless folk.
So perhaps the bag ban is causing us to bark up the wrong tree. It is not the plastic/paper tree or the canvas/nylon tree that should be of concern, but the litter tree. Has society become so lazy or uneducated that they cannot manage their own trash? Parents and teachers would hope to raise children to become responsible individuals and contributing citizens. Is it too difficult to include this small act of caring into preserving our beautiful land?
Every one of us needs to share in this effort so we can gladly appreciate the beauty that lies from “sea to shining sea.”
Wendy Eng Yee
Rural uses have too many downsides
While I have some sympathy for the Issaquah School Board’s unhappiness with new, much-needed school siting recommendations, I would urge that it consider the bigger picture.
There has been a continued pattern of school districts buying cheaper rural-zoned lands for new school sites to serve urban students. Rural-zoned lands are for rural uses, i.e. single homes on acreage, farming, forestry.
It’s improper, environmentally damaging and defeats efforts to properly manage growth to site any large facility on rural land, particularly schools, whose officials then demand urban water and sewer service be extended into a rural area to support an urban facility. This violates all precepts of growth management and the need to carefully balance how we grow with the absolute need to protect our environment and our quality of life.
It’s flat wrong to say that the county is “condemning” the district’s land. The district can sell it anytime for what is no doubt a nice profit. And really, in all honesty, isn’t it rather illogical to build a school far out on rural land in May Valley to serve masses of urban students who must all be bused back and forth each day? How is that good for students, families, the community or the environment? Schools should only be sited in the urban neighborhoods of the students they serve.