Readers React: Don’t recycle plastic — stop using it instead

Plastic bottles are among trash and debris that washed up on Southern California beaches after heavy rains in January.
Plastic bottles are among trash and debris that washed up on Southern California beaches after heavy rains in January.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Really? A proposed state law that would require a 20% plastic recycling rate by 2024, gradually increasing to 75% by 2030?

It is old news that recycling programs are being canceled and that plastic has little value on the recycle market. The “goal” of getting three-quarters of it into the recycle junk heap in a decade is ridiculous, but it gives the plastics industry 10 more years to reap profits while permanently damaging the environment.

Allowing plastic use to grow at the current unprecedented rate in no way curtails plastic pollution. This legislation is an absurdity. We must begin to end plastic use.

Leslie Hess, Ojai



To the editor: Thank you very much for the editorial about California legislation that takes a comprehensive approach to reducing plastic waste. There are ways for individuals to reduce plastic waste as well, rather than waiting for legislation that mandates recycling.

Rather than purchasing soap in liquid form, packaged in disposable plastic containers, shoppers could purchase solid bars of soap wrapped in paper. Purchase powdered laundry and dishwasher soap that is packaged in paper boxes.

Rather than drinking from plastic bottles that eventually find their way to a landfill, plan ahead and use reusable containers. At home, simply drink water from the faucet.

Whenever there is a choice between purchasing something in a plastic container versus purchasing an item in a glass or metal container, consumers can choose the non-plastic option.

Perhaps not everyone realizes that plastic is a petroleum product. In other words, it is just another eco-destroying product of the oil industry.

Sylvia Worden, Costa Mesa


To the editor: California should do no more harm to other countries and end the export of our plastic waste.

U.S. export data show that in April alone, 14.3 million kilograms of plastic were shipped from California’s three largest ports. Those ships went mostly to Asian countries with no final fate accountability.

Numerous verified reports have shown the environmental and social harms caused, including insufficient worker protections and an increase in plastic pollution flowing into the ocean. Exporting plastic waste may still be legal, but we now know it is irresponsible and unethical.

Jan Dell, Laguna Niguel

The writer is founder of the group the Last Beach Cleanup.

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