Readers Write: (July 18): Waste reduction, Mideast conflict, roads vs. transit, cancer survival

  • Updated: July 17, 2014 - 6:27 PM

Just look around at the items that are individually or inviolably wrapped.

Regarding the July 16 commentary “Don’t be complacent about waste reduction,” too much emphasis is placed on recycling, reducing, reusing. What about packaging? It’s confounding to see little packages of 100-calorie cookies, crackers and nuts in stores. Or bite-sized candy bars, tiny plastic cups of fruit and yogurt, and single-wrapped prunes in a plastic container, for goodness sake! It’s not just food that is being overpackaged, but kits and other products that need to be put together or plastic-clamshell-enclosed toys and electronics that are toxic to the environment. Reducing is key!

Packaging engineering is an actual career that has wrapped commerce into a double bind because now it becomes necessary to unravel the protective layers of our indulgence, however costly or time-consuming. As stated in the article, grass-roots efforts to increase recycling for a healthier environment are well and good, but I would advocate for more progress on the front end.

Sharon E. Carlson, Andover

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Just home from seeing “Jersey Boys” at AMC Southdale theaters. A great movie experience was followed by disappointment when we tried to find the recycle bin for a plastic water bottle. The theater manager informed us that compliance by theatergoers was so poor that separate bins for plastic were removed. Very disappointing.

Arnie Bigbee, Edina

MIDEAST CONFLICT

Gazans do have real grievances, you know

In “Israeli invasion of Gaza Strip becomes increasingly likely” (July 17; a ground assault subsequently began on Thursday), Yuval Steinitz, minister of strategic affairs, noted: “We don’t need to rule Gaza or build settlements in Gaza. We need to ensure that all Hamas terrorists run away, are imprisoned or die.”

Is he forgetting that Hamas won a 2006 democratic election? A majority of Gazans voted for Hamas. Isn’t Steinitz indirectly claiming that a majority of Gazans are terrorists, thus threatening to exterminate all Gazans?

He seems to be ignoring the fact that Gazans have grievances that should be heard that are causing their bitterness and hatred:

(1) The seven-year Israeli blockade and lack of Palestinian sovereignty.

(2) The relentless, illegal building of Israeli settlements on land that Gazans feel belongs to Palestinians.

President Obama says that Israel has the right to defend itself, yet very few speak out against Israeli atrocities or favor Palestinians’ right to self-defense. Both sides must agree to end their acts of terrorism, agree to a mutual respect for all human life, Israeli and Palestinian, and listen to each other’s grievances and deep desires for their own land and sovereignty.

Steve Kraemer, St. Louis Park

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I read the July 16 editorial “Hamas cynicism is real threat to Gaza.” I’m sure what was written is true; the statement that caught my eye was this one: “Israeli intransigence on multiple issues has hobbled peace efforts.” I, for one, would like to see a follow-on editorial addressing the Israeli intransigence on those multiple issues to better understand the Hamas cynicism.

Dave Johnson, Grand Rapids, Minn.

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