Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

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Tag: recycling


America: The Saudi Arabia of plastic packaging

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.

Christmas is over. The Christmas packaging is not.

There it sits, forlornly, in garbage cans or under couches or in recycling bins. Crushed cardboard boxes. Polystyrene foam peanuts and packing noodles. Hard plastic shells torn open by teeth, screwdrivers, scissors and fingers (some of them now bandaged).

Somebody must think Americans are in love with packaging.

Small, hardy electronic gizmos, thumb drives and the like, might have been safely mailed in padded envelopes. Instead, they arrive in boxes 100 times their size. Sometimes the goodies are encased in three or four layers of cardboard and plastic. Valuables seem to demand multiple defenses, like a king inside his tower inside his castle walls inside his moat.
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Donations: A partnership of recycling and charity

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

Give Goodwill Industries credit for a good idea: a “donate movement” that emphasizes the environmental dimensions of donating clothing and household goods.

The concept was announced Monday in Tacoma, where Goodwill Industries International has been holding an annual conference this week. Levi Strauss & Co. is helping get the campaign off the ground by tagging its clothing with advice on extending the life of garments and eventually passing them on instead of throwing them away.

It’s a matter of connecting the dots. Americans now routinely recycle glass, plastics and paper for the sake of the environment. Many – though not nearly enough – donate clothing, appliances, tools, etc., for the sake of people less fortunate than they are.

But the donation of clothing and other goods is also a form of recycling that can serve multiple worthy purposes. Goodwill Industries itself is a good example: It resells donations and uses the proceeds to teach job skills to people who have trouble supporting themselves. At the same time, it estimates that it diverts 2 billion pounds of discards from landfills each year.
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