Not to be alarmist because there's always a new article about our health, our environment and our economy. In fact, I'll be attending a City of San Jose Environmental Services workshop which will guide what and why the festival, Spirit of Japantown, Oct 2, 2010, will make use of or dispose of or recycle trash/recycling/composting. This is my second workshop, but I'm sure they'll have updated and new information for us.
There's an article in a recent TIME Magazine, April 12, 2010 issue " The Perils of Plastic"about BPA and other toxic chemicals, the EPA, how it must work, the Catch-22 (can't test everything, must test to be helpful at all, must have data to test with, can't have data unless something is proven, which requires testing and data...). It's a special report. It's good, informative. You may know already that there's a 34 year old piece of federal chemical legislation called the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) which the article says that everyone seems to agree, didn't do the job it was meant to do.
The writing was packed with information that only a real reporter can extract: finding information from the people who are working in the industry in legislation and the business and non-profit world, about plastics, polymers 1-7 (those little numbers in those little triangles on the bottles, packages, and leaching, potential leaching into food and water, the effect on us, our bodies, and what and how we can do something - or not - about things.
I learned from the article that a man known to his colleagues during the 16th century as Paracelsus created this notion "the dose makes the poison." The 16th century. We've learned things since then. Technology has advanced. And maybe another notion, the 'green chemistry' notion; sustainable, non-toxic chemistry, might become even more popular.
The article ends by saying that there is an EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award and there were 1,600 of 12,000 presentations in one moth's annual meeting of the American Chemical Society that were dedicated to sustainability. That's good, but that's only 7.5% of the presentations. What is everyone else doing I wonder?
The weirdly segmented manner of to-do and not-to-do during any day of my life in recent history will be influenced by my reading this article while trying to pay bills (no bills paid - but article read!). I'm now a little more knowledgeable but behind in my household, business, p/t work and volunteer chores. It didn't say anything about landfills or recycled paper checks, but did say a lot about those issues that affect whether or not we'll wake up or whether or not our children and grandchildren will be able to have children and whether they'll be more likely to be autistic or have ADHD.
BPA has been used since the 1940's. Plastic was a great thing back then but now, my water bottle is PBA free. A good thing.
And what about the bags? There is probably vinyl in the coating. PVC-something I've made an effort to stay away from since the 1970's. We don't want to have this stuff on the planet, really, no matter how good it seems to be for house sidings, etc. But we will make bags out of it, so that it doesn't sit idle in a landfill.
Maybe this is a fine line discussion. But to me, if we ever get to make beautiful bags from a sustainable source that would otherwise be tossed away, waterproof or not, it'll be greater than what we're doing now.
In the meantime, though, there's a ton of banners out there! We'll take them all!