MARINA, Calif. – Lawmakers in California have littered their desks with measures designed to eliminate plastic products, such as bags and even straws. But in failing to provide an adequate system for recycling these items – along with glass, metal and paper – they have created an environmental mess and a socio-economic dilemma.

At the public park I frequent several times a week for baseball practice, I can pretty much set my watch by the arrival of Samuel, toting two or three bulging trash bags. He deftly lifts the lids on garbage bins and rummages a bit, looking for plastic bottles and aluminum cans. He also picks up what’s on the ground, leaving the park considerably tidier than he found it.

Funt is a writer and speaker.

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