Plastic is everywhere.
I walk the beach most mornings and pick it up all along the way. I pull bottle caps and fast-food cups out of my front hedge with some regularity. The amount of discarded plastic I see is overwhelming.
This summer on a family vacation we visited Connecticut and Rhode Island and found ourselves impressed with how many places have banned single-use plastics. I figured many people would be upset with not getting a plastic bag each time they made a purchase, or would complain about straws and eating utensils made from alternative products, but surprisingly everyone basically shrugged and said “you get used to it.” And we did. Never once was it a problem.
So when I got home, I thought I should begin supporting some of the local groups pushing to ban single-use plastics, but then I saw that the town of Palm Beach was forced to rescind its single-use plastic ban after learning an appellate court had upheld the Florida Legislature’s pre-emption against local bans of plastic bags and polystyrene containers.
Sadly, I wasn’t surprised.
So, I decided to look closely at my own consumption of single-use plastics and polystyrene containers. I found we do pretty well at home, but lousy at the office.
All the take-out food containers we throw in the trash each week (way too many) are bad enough, but each month The Coastal Star is inserted in a single-use plastic slip in hopes of keeping it dry when it’s delivered.
So what can we do about the plastic wrapping our newspaper?
We know digital-only publishing is not profitable. We’d go out of business in a heartbeat if we were digital-only. Same thing with becoming subscriber-based rather than being a total market publication. We must make a profit or we won’t be able to continue providing quality, locally produced journalism.
So, how else could we deliver our print newspaper? We’re open to ideas.
Using the U.S. Postal Service is one option The Coastal Star is weighing. But that’s not a cheap or easy route. We are working out the numbers, but so far it appears this delivery method cuts too deeply into our bottom line.
Every business has its challenges adapting to a changing world, and maybe no business is facing more challenges than newspapers. But that just makes the job more interesting.
Some of the nation’s best and brightest business people live in our area, and many of them are readers who tell us how much they value local news. Plus, we believe everyone along the coast would like to see less single-use plastic tossed in their driveways.
We’re all in this together, so we’re hopeful you’ll let us know your suggestions on how we keep our company viable, but eliminate the plastic.
To make suggestions, email me at Editor@thecoastalstar.com or Publisher Jerry Lower at Publisher@thecoastalstar.com.
— Mary Kate Leming, Editor