Letters to the Editor
February 8, 2017

To the Editor:
We would like to thank the Lions Club, Fillmore Women’s Service Club and Soroptomist International for their continued support of the arts programs at Fillmore High School. Their generous donations to the upcoming March Arts show will allow us to continue putting on this event. On behalf of the Visual and Performing Arts Department at Fillmore High School, thank you!
Rosalind Mitzenmacher
Fillmore High School
Visual & Performing Arts Dept. Chair


To the Editor:
“Do you want to buy a bag?”
I am seventy-five years old and for my entire lifetime when I went to a store and purchased merchandise I was given a paper bag in which to carry the items home. There was never a charge for the bag. Then came along the plastic bag and one had a choice between paper or plastic and still no charge. Eventually it went to almost all plastic bags and, as always, no charge. But all of that changed recently by a law which environmentalists said was crucial to reducing litter and ocean pollution. It prohibits grocery stores, large retail stores with a pharmacy, convenience stores, food marts, liquor stores, and any other stores that choose to comply with the law from providing free single-use carryout bags. The operative word here is “free”. There is no ban on plastic bags that the customer pays for.
A paper bag takes approximately a month to decompose and it takes as much as twenty years for a plastic bag to decompose and therefore the ecology activists concluded that the solution to the problem was to ban the use of single use plastic bags. A quick look will tell that the purchased plastic bags are much thicker than the single use bags and must take significantly more time to decompose. In passing the law environmentalists were assured of no opposition from the retailers because those retailers now were able to make a profit on the items that their customers historically received free of cost. Henceforth, customers get two choices: either buy a plastic bag or a paper bag from the store or bring their own bag from home.
The culprit that apparently needs to be banned is plastic. But somehow the activists have concluded that only single use plastic bags should be banned. As I walked through our local supermarket I looked carefully at the items for sale that are made of plastic or sealed in plastic containers. The first thing I came across was a loaf of bread which was wrapped in plastic. Many of the bakery items are sold in plastic containers. The items on the meat counter, yes, contained in plastic. The milk and bottled water were also in plastic containers. The single use bags inside the breakfast cereal boxes are plastic. Butter, margarine, yogurt, cottage cheese - the list goes on and on. And the non-food items sold the like Pampers, laundry and dish washing soap, bleach, mouthwash, tooth brushes, shoe polish, vitamins and skin lotion – need I continue. If we put up with this what will those activists go after next?
And probably even a bigger “why” is why don’t the stores in question just go back to paper bags at no charge like it’s been for over a hundred years?
Tom Pedersen