END PLASTIC POLLUTION
Re: “Trash Attack,” March 28
We know plastic pollution is an environmental hazard.
A recent change in international policies around recycling has elevated the issue, causing garbage to pile up in our communities. From this front page story in Pasadena Weekly: “…the recycling industry nationwide is struggling, in large part due to China and other Asian nations, which have set stringent guidelines for accepting used paper and plastic from markets and municipalities in the United States. These new rules have forced towns and cities across the country to either shutter recycling programs or place limits on the types of materials they receive. In many cases, the programs that have survived now face steep price increases.”
California needs a clear pathway for reducing plastic pollution. We need to pass Assembly Bill 1080: https://a80.asmdc.org/…/lorena-gonzalez-leads-effort-combat…
~ ASSEMBLY MEMBER LORENA GONZALEZ
80TH ASSEMBLY DISTRICT
MAJOR CHANGE NEEDED
Your recent cover story (“Trash Attack: Garbage Piles Up as the Recycling Market Breaks Down,” March 28) highlights the need for major changes to our waste recycling and disposal practices. Now that sending recyclable materials like plastic to China is no longer an option for most communities, we must deal with our waste by first reducing what we produce and use, and by recycling the rest. California state legislators have proposed a set of laws, Assembly Bill 1080 and Senate Bill 54, to require that 75 percent of single-use packaging and products be reduced, recycled or composted by 2030. These bills also encourage California manufacturing to reuse recycled materials.
It’s already widely accepted by Californians that we need to protect our coast from plastic pollution to safeguard both public and environmental health. However, inland communities like Pasadena also need significant policy changes, like those in SB 54 and AB 1080, to help reduce the burden of plastic and other single-use items. All communities, both coastal and inland, need this legislation; otherwise our residents will continue to pay ever-increasing costs for garbage clean up and waste disposal, and trash will continue to plague our neighborhoods and our environment.
~ EMILY PARKER
COASTAL AND MARINE SCIENTIST
HEAL THE BAY
INNOVATE, NOT DEVASTATE
It adds further insult to ecological injury that Roundup (glyphosate) defoliant has been, and might continue to be used, by Los Angeles County’s Department of Public Works (DPW) within Hahamongna Watershed Park’s devastated basin. The park’s name includes the word “Watershed” for a reason… It indicates that the entire basin functions as a watershed to slow the rare outflows of freshwater from the Upper Arroyo Seco and recapture that water into an important aquifer used by surrounding communities.
The black willow and other riparian trees, shrubs and wildflowers that once graced the park’s living basin — a popular pastoral destination for hikers, dog walkers and horse riders — has been bulldozed out of existence along with its resident wildlife, from butterflies to burrowing owls; from ducks to bobcats. The area will be further excavated and apparently “treated” to prevent life from returning. Spraying Roundup or Roundup “cocktails” (that contain multiple toxic defoliants), will expose remaining adjacent vegetation, visitors, and wildlife to the hazards of these chemicals… while potentially contaminating surface water when it does flow through our arid region.
Shame on the county DPW for its expedited, unnecessary destruction of over 50 acres of HWP’s living basin, along with its intention to perpetuate that devastation by poisoning the parkland’s heart into the future. As plans stand, the DPW will succeed in turning a once biodiverse habitat where endangered species, such as Least Bell’s Vireo, had returned to nest, into a barren, blighted county maintenance yard into the foreseeable future.
I again urge the Board of Supervisors to stop this travesty and restore the basin to its natural state. Mother Nature has been involved in “quality control” and “product development” a few million years longer than the DPW. It is time to let nature recapture clean freshwater and revegetate Hahamongna Watershed Park. Seek alternatives to the DPW’s plans outside that insular, arrogant agency; redesign the park after the beautiful bioswales and naturalized flood control basins one can see in other countries, such as France. Implement innovation, not devastation and defoliant applications.
~ LORI L. PAUL
Sorenson and Greenberg are talented, but the main reason for my checking your paper every week was Tom Tomorrow. Please do what you can to keep that feature around.
~ RICHARD JOHNSON