February 8, 2008

Irish trash plastic bags

Six years after a tax was imposed plastic bags, Dublin is virtually plastic bag free, the New York Times reported Saturday.

After just a few weeks of the 33 cent tax, plastic bag usage had dropped 94 percent. Most consumers had switched to using cloth and plastic bags for shopping to save money and stop waste.

But the fact that the plastic bag seems to be almost completely absent in Dublin is attributed to the near social taboo that they are now associated with.

“The tax is not so much, but it completely changed a very bad habit,"
Gerry McCartney, 50, said. “Now you never see plastic.?

Other countries, including Bangladesh and China, have announced that they will soon impose a tax on plastic bags too, although the amount is not known. The supermarket chain Whole Foods has also announced that it will start charging a fee for paper bags.

In January almost 42 billion plastic bags were used worldwide, reported the New York Times, and even though they only constitute two percent of all landfills, they are not biodegradable.

February 2, 2008

Washington Post starts site for black readers

The Washington Post launched their new online magazine, The Root, last week. The magazine is specially tailored to black readers and has a section with tools to track your ancestry.

According to the New York Times, will feature "news and commentary on politics and culture, and tools for readers to research their family histories..." It is considered "more highbrow, [and a] political alternative to established magazines..." and will feature commentary from several well-known authors including William Julius Wilson.

The managing editor of the magazine, Lynette Clemetson, said that the site “will not have an explicitly black angle." The New York Times reported that the editors of the online magazine want it to "present conflicting outlooks, countering the notion that there is a monolithic black point of view."