January 29, 2008
Paper or plastic? Your editorial excoriating the use of plastic bags ("Yesterday's baggage," Jan. 26) was excellent as far as petroleum-based products are concerned. But there is another solution coming on line in Europe: biodegradable bags made from corn, which are as strong as oil-based plastic when new, but degrade completely within 18 months in landfills. I brought several home last summer to share with the Lower Merion Township Environmental Advisory Council, and we are investigating potential sources of supply in the United States.
January 28, 2008 |
The bar-code scanner beeps. The groceries glide toward the bagger, not to mention a new eco-enemy: the bag itself. If it's made of plastic, all the worse. Plastic bags are handy, to be sure. They carry lunches, wet swimsuits and pet waste. Yet they last for centuries in landfills. Thrown away, they are often blown away, urban tumbleweeds that wind up draped in trees, plastered to fences, clogged in sewer drains. In the open sea, they kill turtles. So the ubiquitous "free" plastic grocery bag - that small, pale piece of processed petrol so flimsy that good baggers double up - is beginning to be targeted by lawmakers and others who want them restricted or banned.
January 26, 2008
Perhaps the most common symbol of the global throwaway culture is the plastic bag. About 500 billion to 1 trillion get used, and rarely re-used, each year. In many towns and cities the plastic bag has become the de facto national flag, waving from trees and lampposts, festooning highways, blighting the landscape. The things are everywhere. But that is starting to change. China - where the central government can still do such things - has banned the sale or free distribution of ultra-thin plastic bags as of June.
December 28, 2007 |
All of a sudden, the world is full of rhythmic noise: footsteps tapping, train wheels clacking, car doors slamming, computer keys clicking. Just as some pictures can heighten your awareness of color and shape, Stomp heightens your awareness of sound. How percussive the world is! Electrifying and funny (now there's an unusual combination), Stomp, currently at the Merriam Theater, is a wildly enjoyable show. It's been running for 13 years in New York. And before that in London. And it looks and feels as frisky and high-voltage as ever.
October 23, 2007 |
PLASTIC BAGS have been a fixture at markets and retailers for decades, valued for their durability and ease of use. But they also present environmental challenges, and many communities, government officials and retailers are in search of solutions. In some cases, bans on plastic bags are on the table, like Councilman Frank DiCicco's proposal in Philadelphia. But there is every reason to believe such bans, the subject of a Council hearing tomorrow, would do more harm than good and that other measures would be more effective.
October 3, 2007
SHOULD WE stuff the proposed plastic- bag ban being pushed by City Councilman Frank DiCicco into the same trash can as the foie gras ban, the proclamation of the city as official pro-choice, and some of the other crazy ideas that Council has tackled? Not this time. The measure, which would ban plastic bags from large supermarkets, tackles a problem that affects everyone, not just the foie-gras-munching class. The non-biodegradable bags blight our streets and defile our trees. And we usually have little choice to use them; stores rarely ask "paper or plastic?"
October 2, 2007
RE CITY Council's quality-of-life issues: The only things they are concerned with are banning foie gras, plastic bags and Styrofoam containers. What's next, banning the use of candy wrappers and plastic and paper cups? I see plenty of them flying around, but City Council won't ban them. Why doesn't Council do some real work? Edward Dubin, Philadelphia
September 27, 2007
Airtight, stackable and space-efficient, these modular stacking units come in square and rectangular shapes and have a unique push-button mechanism that creates an airtight seal with one pop. (The 4-quart size holds a 5-pound bag of flour or sugar.) The pop-up button serves as a handle to lift the lid, which also comes apart for thorough cleaning. Milk Duds kicked up a notch If you're looking to revive the chewy satisfaction of the Milk Duds you savored as a child, do it adult-style with Naked Chocolate Cafe's tasty Sea Salt Caramels covered with premium milk and dark chocolate.
January 14, 2007 |
When Robert Sachs was a young boy in North Carolina, his mother bundled him up and tied garbage bags around his feet on cold days. The plastic bags made him feel like an idiot, and didn't do much to keep out the cold or the wet. Neither did all the bundling. "Mom would just pile all this stuff on us," he said. "You just sweat through everything. " These days, Sachs, 26, an all-season hiker from Manayunk, has exchanged his plastic bags for polypropylene, a plastic fiber that wicks water away from the body.
January 6, 2007 |
Buried in the basement of a five-story brick West Philadelphia apartment building, it was a marvel of organization: an illegal copying operation that had, by police count, a stockpile of more than 8,000 CDs and DVDs. Yesterday, authorities said they had broken up the operation at 48th and Walnut Streets, arresting one man - whom police did not identify - on suspicion of trademark counterfeiting, and seizing goods with titles ranging from Rocky Balboa and Happy Feet to classics such as Cinderella.