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recycle plastic bags

From: domainremoved <McAuliffe>
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2019 12:51:42 -0700

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Dear members of the Menlo Park City Council,

I love the fact that Menlo Park is striving to be a green city. The ban on plastic bags in stores was a great first step.** However my newspaper almost always arrives in a plastic bag, rain or shine, many grocery items are wrapped in plastic. Deliveries from Amazon often are buffered by small plastic “pillows”. You all get the same stuff.

In the past, I’ve put all the collected plastic stuff into whatever large plastic containers that have made their way to my house and dropped them at Safeway. Now I understand Safeway has discontinued that program. While I’m disappointed, I don’t think it’s Safeway’s job to do what we, as a city should be doing.

I’ve called Recology about including bags in their other plastic recycling. All I get is “We can’t do that.” Yet I know Palo Alto, or at least Stanford has figured it out.

I’m sure you all know the damage plastic bags and other plastic stuff has done to the ocean and sea life. Every city and town needs to take ownership of this problem and reduce their contribution to it. Can Menlo Park be a leader? I believe we are a member of ABAG (is that the right acronym?). If enough pressure is exerted Recology and other recycling agencies may try to address this.

One idea is for ABAG to offer a prize for the best uses of recycled plastic, bags and containers (especially styrofoam). I do believe the collective brains in this area can come up with creative, useful products. Just FYI, in Kenya, where I spend my summers, there was a man who collected plastic bags, melted them down and made very sturdy phone poles, fence posts and fencing bars. Unfortunately he passed away and that process was lost.

Once uses are developed, something that has filled our dumps, drains, beaches and oceans suddenly becomes an asset, a raw material for which an industry will pay. Then the biggest issue will be to educate our citizens to dispose of them responsibly. I remember when plastic and aluminum beverage containers were a big litter problem. Then a small amount was offered to retrieve them. Homeless people who needed cash could be seen with big bags of cans and our byways were much cleaner.

As I’ve said, can Menlo Park be a leader? At least bring this to the attention of ABAG. We can do this!!!

Thank you.

**FYI, I bought my first cloth reusable bags from Lucky on Woodside Road in the 1980’s. Previously I returned my paper bags to the market to be refilled with my own groceries. I never took plastic bags, but it’s been at least 30 years side I have taken any bag from any store.

Margo McAuliffe
Executive Director
Kenya Help

Hope is believing in spite of the evidence, then watching the evidence change...Jim Wallis, editor, Sojourners magazine.
Received on Wed Oct 23 2019 - 12:43:33 PDT

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