44° Good Afternoon
44° Good Afternoon

Straw and bag bans won’t go far

Suffolk County required stores to charge five cents

Suffolk County required stores to charge five cents per plastic bag as of Jan. 1. Credit: Newsday / Jim Peppler

It amazes me how strident some people get under the guise of helping the environment. Plastic bags and now straws are perfect examples [“The last straw,” Business, Aug. 19]. Banning them will help save the environment? Nonsense.

Look in your kitchen garbage pail and separate the plastic garbage from everything else. I’ll wager at least 50 percent of what you throw out is plastic — bottles, wrappers, cereal box liners, etc. Most food packaging is plastic. How much do you recycle?

Eliminating plastic bags and straws is a good step, but people must realize it’s largely a symbolic gesture that really doesn’t solve the problem. In fact, it distracts us from dealing with the true issue: how to make sure all recyclable materials get recycled.

Environmentalists and legislators should spend their time and funds on drawing attention to the real issue — there’s simply too much garbage because not enough people recycle enough of what they dispose of. Until that issue is dealt with, bag and straw bans are simply political blather.

Ken Trottere, Greenlawn

Editor’s note: The writer is an executive with Poly-Pak, a manufacturer of plastic packaging materials in Melville.

Workplace ethics, a church and a lawsuit

Ethics in the workplace? One would think that religious leaders should be especially mindful of ethics as they pertain to themselves and their “workplace.”

The “Ask the clergy” article titled “The impact of religion on ethical behavior at work” [LI Life, Aug. 26] quotes the Rev. Vicky Eastland who, along with the Brookville Reformed Church, is named in a lawsuit that charges them with breaking a retirement contract with the former minister of 30 years, the Rev. Allan B. Ramirez [“Ex-pastor sues church over retirement pay,” News, July 20].

Eastland says, “One should never feel the need to ‘check their faith at the door’ in the workplace, because our faith is what informs our ethics and, in turn, our social behavior.” One can only wonder how she is able to reconcile her high-minded advice with her own personal behavior in the workplace.

Nan Coffey, Locust Valley

Editor’s note: The writer is a former vice president of Brookville Reformed Church.