Plastics Resolution On County Council Agenda Is Entirely Inadequate

Letter To The Editor_Pongratz Endorses Chris Chandler For House District 43 Seat (29)

Open Letter to Los Alamos County Council

I was dismayed to see that a Plastics Resolution will be presented at Tuesday’s work session following the equally critical Downtown Master Plan presentation.

This Resolution is entirely inadequate. It somehow equates composting with reducing restaurant waste.  The Resolution is more about garbage than about plastics.

The Council and subcommittees, as well as the ESB, have received input on this issue for years.  The Resolution does not address—or even identify—the issues the community has been concerned with for the past six years: primarily the single-use plastic shopping bag, an issue that a resolution could easily address simply by stating the County Council supports Smiths Los Alamos in initiating TODAY the Kroger Corporate goal of zero-waste.

In addition to the zero publicity while ignoring all previous public input, this is the worst time to introduce this Resolution because of restrictions placed on businesses due to the corona virus.  We can cheer restaurants that use compostable carry-out and no straws, but without some kind of compensation, most of our struggling businesses, many of which are surviving on carry-out, cannot afford to transition. And clearly, they cannot allow customers to bring their own containers into the kitchen to be filled with the takeout.

Please do not vote on this Resolution tonight.  Please rework this resolution to focus on plastic waste rather than composting. Please use the years’ long input from multiple organizations—including the LAHS EcoClub that has been working on this issue for four years.

The plastics pandemic is worse than COVID-19.  COVID-19 will go away.  Plastics never will.  Respect our kids.  Resolve to actually stop the use of single-use plastics in Los Alamos.

Chair, Pajarito Group of the Sierra Club
Los Alamos