Plastic and paper bags hide costs as well as groceries

The city has since imposed a fee on single use paaer and plastic bags. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

By Noemi de la Puente

The average consumer uses 500 bags a year, about 80 percent plastic and 20 percent paper. Plastic bags cost retailers like grocery stores 2 cents to 5 cents each, and paper ones cost 5 cents to 23 cents. I p replica watches uk aying for them: The cost is hidden in the cost of the items I buy. I figure I spend $13 to $43 per year on bags I think I am getting for free.

Let follow the money. Stores are stuck in the middle. They typically pay $1,000 to $6,000 a month on bags alone. They do this because they think I will stop shopping there if I don get bags. Retail stores feel compelled to keep on buying and distributing the bags and hiding the cost. This money the grocery stores spend goes mostly to plastic bag manufacturers who make tens of millions of dollars on the bags.

Poor grocery stores. They have to pay for all that. Wait a minute poor us! The stores pass those costs along to you and me.

So, even though I bring my reusable bags to the store, I still pay the hidden costs for other people bag use, because stores won charge individuals for bags.

Can we ? Couldn retailers declare their independenc replica watches uk e, lower their overhead and side with the consumer? How about charging only the people who use the bags, and leaving the rest of us to our big reusable bags so we can save money (and carry more stuff, to boot)? Would it help if we as consumers take a pledge that we will still shop at our local stores?

There is more to this story and the trail of money out of my pocket. Here in the Garden State all 8.8 million of us use about 4.4 billion, yes billion, bags a year, not counting the bread bags, produce bags, newspaper bags, etc., that we also use. Most of the bags end up in landfills where we taxpayers foot the bill to dispose of tons of them.

In Lawrence Township, Mercer County, where I live, we pay $104 a ton to dispose of our garbage. So, my township could save a lot of money if we generated less trash.

There are solutions. San Jose, Calif., passed a law making every bag cost 10 cents. People in San Jose stopped using bags by about 90 percent, and the city reported an 89 percent drop in the amount of bag litter in its storm drains.

San Jose estimates it is saving $1 million a year by not having to repair municipal recycling equipment that previously got jammed with plastic bags. What more, the city saved landfill and transfer station bag litter control costs estimated at $318,000 a year.

On the other hand, San Francisco tried recycling its plastic bags for a while, then learned it cost taxpayers about 17 cents per bag for their marginal recycling program. So the recycling option isn so thrifty as one would hope. Fee revenue there is dedicated to a good purpose: cleaning up the Anacostia River, a body of water which flows through some of the poorest neighborhoods in the area.

What galls me more is that almost half of the plastic film (including plastic bags) recovered in the United States was shipped overseas for processing. What a waste of time an replica watches uk d resources. I don want to pay for that. I rather just bring my own bag in the first place.

Plastic bags are notorious for ending up in waterways that lead to our oceans. Who wants to see plastic bags instead of dolphins off our shores? North Carolina Outer Banks area passed a plastic bag ban, because officials felt that plastic bag litter was affecting tourism. Why jeopardize the Jersey Shore and its $19 billion tourism industry with plastic bag litter?

There is a solution in sight. Senate Bill 812 and Assembly replica watches uk Bill 3787 would put a 5 cent fee on all paper and plastic shopping bags. Four cents would go to the state Department of Environmental Protection to clean up Barnegat Bay, and 1 cent would remain with the merchant. And if you like me, the whole 5 cents would remain in your pocket because you bring your own bag.

I urge people to support these bills. Tell elected officials not to listen to the deep pocketed plastic bag lobby. We need solutions to the problem of plastics proliferation, and this one deserves action.

Plaster bagworms love to eat spider webs

The caterpillar lives in a gray, flattened, watermelon seed shaped case about a half inch long. The case is constructed of silken fiber and sand particles, lint and other debris. It has a slit like opening at each end, which lets the larva (caterpillar) move around and feed from either end. Plaster ba replica watches uk gworms are easily seen on light colored walls.

Bagworms can also be found on outside walls and attached to the undersides of patio furniture, and in garages.

Plaster bagworms mainly feed replica watches uk on spider webs, however, they will also feed on fabrics made of natural fiber such as silk. Usually bagworms don damage anything indoors unless you allow them to crawl onto fabric. Since they move very slowly, it is easy to keep them away from clothing. If you find some on your indoor walls, check your closets and dressers for this insect and remove any you find.

They enter homes through crevices around doors and poorly sealed windows.

To control the plaster bagworms indoors, good housekeeping is important, especially regularly removing spider webs. Vacuum or sweep down and remove any spider webs and bagworm cases. Insecticides do not control this insect. Place weather stripping around doorways, especially over the threshold and sliding glass window tracks to keep them from entering your home.

Bagwo replica watches uk rms on exterior walls cause no damage but can be swept or picked off and disposed. Mail them in a padded envelope or box with a brief note explaining where you found the insects.

Do not tape insects to paper or place them loose in envelopes. Insect fragments or crushed insect samples are almost impossible to identify. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook replica watches uk ‘s commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment.

Plasma TV as Part of the Home Theater

There no doubt that both electronic and furnishing industries are meeting the demand, and you find a great array of equipment, furniture and “extras” to make your home theater feel as much like a commercial theater as possible.

The plasma TV is no doubt one big step toward creating the ultimate viewing experience. The sharp picture added with the potential for a large, flat screen are important steps, but the benefits of a plasma TV don stop there. Plasma TVs have an important feature the ability to sit directly in front of the screen or to either side without losing a good view of the movie. Many of the television options have a very limited viewing range before the picture becomes much less sharp and clear.

Another important aspect of the plasma TV is that the screen can be mounted on a wall, meaning there doesn need to be an entertainment center or even a shelf where the screen sits. It all aimed at offering the viewers an experience similar to that of a movie theater.

Remember that setting up the home theater may start wit replica watches uk h the electronics, but it certainly doesn end there. You find authentic theater furnishing to further your home theater experience. Choose reclining seats, seats with armrests or comfortable recliners.

You also find companies that provide everything else you need to make your home t replica watches uk heater more like the commercial experience. Want popcorn? Don just pop a bag of the buttery treat pop a whole batch in your popcorn popper that loo replica watches uk ks just like the popper at the theater. Drinks can be distributed the same way!

If you looking for more practical items, you be relieved to know you can even find inexpensive and easy to install sound proofing material for walls, floors and ceilings. When you finished this project, you can cover the floors with carpet and welcome mats just like those in your favorite theater, and hide the sou replica watches uk nd proofed walls with authentic theater curtains, made to fit your home theater walls.

Your home theater may very well start with a plasma TV after all, that arguably the latest and greatest technology available for your viewing pleasure. But don think that creating the ultimate home theater experience has to stop there.