To the editors:
As recycling is near and dear to my heart, I was thrilled to see your story on Chicago's Sword-of-Damocles garbage crisis [November 11].
However, I would have liked it even better had you pointed out that all this plastic crap exists because our continued purchase of its myriad forms indicates tacit approval. Remembering that one letter represents an estimated 1,000 opinions (because so few people make time to write), imagine the chagrin of Beatrice, Procter & Gamble, Avon, et al, if we were to tell them we want products in paper, cardboard, metal or glass containers, or we won't buy their products--and then kept our word? Or if we told our elected officials we're not going to let them help bury us in trash, and to quit (in effect) subsidizing those responsible by ignoring the clean-up costs.
National Gardening magazine reports that "plastics now [make] up almost a third (by volume) of the waste discarded in the U.S." Let's face it folks--barring incineration, which fouls the air and water, yesterday's empty milk jug, last week's spent Downy bottle, today's styrofoam meat trays, and others of their ilk will still be around when your children are old! If we want them to remember us for something other than a "throw-away society" we will have to sacrifice the good old "convenience" himself, and bear in mind that there is no "away" for throwing garbage anymore--we all live downwind and stream.