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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Of course an eatery in an upscale area can afford to cut back on plastic

Plastic trash
Plastic bottles were among the trash and debris that washed up in Newport Beach after heavy rains in January 2018.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: My wife and I spent 14 blissful years in the Talmadge neighborhood of San Diego, just east of the upscale Kensington neighborhood where Ponce’s Mexican Restaurant is located. One of the pleasures was falling into a weekly routine of ordering the “Ponce’s Special” dish. (“My restaurant shifted away from plastics. Requiring the same of others would be good for California,” Opinion, Aug. 19)

Talmadge was a solidly middle-class area, whereas Kensington was decidedly more affluent. That hasn’t changed much.

Op-ed article writer Mikey Knab expresses disappointment that his fellow restaurateurs have not significantly reduced their use of single-use plastic eating tools like Ponce’s. The demographic of his clientele is decidedly upscale compared to the the clientele of the nearby eateries that serve the working-class laborers who want to eat a cheap, tasty lunch and then head back to work.

Of course Knab’s customers do not complain about higher prices; they can afford it, and they get that warm “I get to help the environment” feeling. And, don’t forget, recycled cardboard takeaway containers must go to the landfill due to food residues.

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David Pohlod, Oak Park

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To the editor: I was heartened to read that Knab has taken steps to reduce his restaurant’s environmental footprint by eliminating plastic packaging and tableware. He did this because it was “the right thing to do,” even though it cost a little more and put his small business at a competitive disadvantage against others.

It is heartening, too, that his customers, with whom he has actual personal relationships, continue to patronize his restaurant rather than a lower-cost option.

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This is the way that capitalism and the marketplace were supposed to work before large, profit-driven corporations took over the playing field. Absent widespread responsible business behavior such as this, bills like AB 1080 and SB 54, which would require the use of recyclable or compostable packaging, are absolutely necessary.

Roger Gloss, Rancho Santa Margarita

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To the editor: I have an idea: Why don’t we all carry with us a reusable “doggie bag” when we eat out? This way, we can wash it at home and reuse it, just like we are doing now with shopping bags.

Teresa Arieta, Mission Viejo


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