Letters to the Editor: Blame careless consumers for plastics pollution, not just corporate America

Garbage in Ballona Creek
Debris, including plastic and polystyrene products, float down Ballona Creek in Marina del Rey after a rain storm on Nov. 21, 2019.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: We can blame corporate America for promoting single-use plastic water bottle use and, in California, try to hold Exxon Mobil Corp. responsible for much of it, but the responsibility for the purchase of these products rests with the consumer.

I am astonished at people buying cases of water in single-use plastic bottles every time I visit a grocery store. These are surely the same people who claim to be concerned with climate change and pollution. The myth that plastic water bottles are recycled was proved untrue long ago.

As a longtime cancer patient, I refused to use plastic water bottles due to the leaching of materials into the water. Also, I learned that most of the water sold in plastic bottles is just tap water run through a basic filter. We installed a water filter in our home, which anyone can do, and utilize reusable bottles.


The choice to protect our environment rests with each of us. If we are too inconvenienced to change our behaviors, it bodes ill for the future.

Laurie S. Adami, Los Angeles


To the editor: While you correctly state that plastic consumer items end up in waterways such as the Ballona Creek, the implication is that this somehow happens naturally.

You fail to highlight that plastic in the environment is mostly caused by uncaring people who drop their used cups, wrappers or utensils wherever they are. A new manifestation of this behavior is the presence of discarded masks all over the place. Perhaps there needs to be a greater proliferation of refuse containers.

As for recycling, it should not matter whether it is economical to do so or not. We don’t argue anymore about reducing air pollution; it is simply the cost of maintaining a healthier society.

Rich Smirnoff, Rancho Palos Verdes


To the editor: So California Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta is going after Exxon because people litter and do not recycle their plastics. Sounds like no-accountability legalese and somebody attempting to flex their legal muscles at election time.

Glenn Stiglic, Long Beach