Letters to the Editor: Rwanda puts the U.S. and China to shame on fighting plastic trash

Shipping plastic to China
Compressed blocks of plastic items meant to be shipped to China for recycling sit at a facility in Hillsboro, Ore., in 2017.
(Natalie Behring / Getty Images)

To the editor: In 2018, my daughter returned from her Peace Corps duty in Rwanda, where plastic bags are completely banned along with many other single-use plastic items. (“China is putting the U.S. to shame in the fight against plastic trash,” Jan. 27)

Rwanda’s ban on non-biodegradable bags went into effect in 2008. When we sent her packages, they had to be plastic free.

How is it such a small country got so far out ahead on this issue without much notice? Now China is following suit, and it had caught our attention.

It’s a bit shameful that we pay attention to these progressive acts when they directly impact our pocketbooks.

Tony Schaffer, Los Angeles



To the editor: Grocery chains such as Ralphs and big-box stores like Target should, in the absence of legislation forcing their hands, be responsible and ecologically enlightened companies and stop providing plastic bags for a nominal fee to their customers.

Kudos to stores such as Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, where plastic bags are not an option.

While awaiting legislation, customers need to make their voices heard and directly contact the offending stores to ask that paper and re-usable bags be offered instead of plastic.

Emily Loughran, Los Angeles


To the editor: I noticed that my morning newspaper was delivered in plastic. Have you considered a plain brown paper wrapper?

Linda Schack, Manhattan Beach