Re "A better plastic bag - not a ban on them - is the answer to recycling" (Viewpoints, Sept. 25): The viewpoint expressed by Pete Grande and Christine Flowers on plastic bags is highly flawed.
In one short paragraph they dismiss cloth totes. I inventoried the cloth totes we have used for over 10 years, and only five of the 20 or so that we own were made in China. And where do they get the figure of "50 times to provide an environmental benefit"?
The only alternative they suggest to plastic bags is paper bags, which they say "requires cutting down and shipping trees". Most paper bags these days are made from recycled materials, and many stores are charging the customer for them.
At least four "musts" are required before their premise will work -- very specific actions by legislators, grocers, plastic manufacturers and consumers. It is unlikely these "musts" will be fulfilled soon.
Their view fits nicely with that of the American Chemical Association.
-- Ben Smith, Lincoln