Plastic bag conundrum: What to do with trash?


DEAR SUN SPOTS: On March 22, there was someone from Buckfield with plastic bags to give away. I am interested in the plastic bags. I have a Girl Scout troop, and we could use them to bag cookies for customers at booth sales. I also use many at home for my small trash cans; they come in handy. She can reach me at 336-3688.

I also wanted to mention that I know the stores are asking customers to use reusable bags, and I do sometimes because I like how they hold their shape and stand up better, but then I like to get some things in plastic, too, so I have the bags around my home.

I understand the whole recycling thing, but if we don’t have the bags for trash, then we still have to go to the store and purchase the small bags, which are still going to the same place. What do you think of using these bags for trash instead of buying them at the store? — No Name, Buckfield

ANSWER: Sun Spots has struggled with the same conundrum. She uses both store bags and the purchased ones at home, despite the environmental issue. For her small trash cans, she only replaces the plastic bag liners periodically, emptying the bag and putting it back. Another option she sometimes uses is to line wastepaper baskets with paper bags or even newspapers, but what do you do with wet garbage? Sun Spots recycles and composts, but you still have things like bloody meat wrappers to deal with. Engineers have developed biodegradable plastic, but it’s still rather expensive. Although they may not seem as expensive if the price of oil shoots back up, since plastic is made from petroleum.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: After reading the letter to you from D.G. in Greene regarding Haband’s, it prompted me to also write to you. On Feb. 10, my mother had me order two sets of micro sheets for her, and we enclosed a check for payment.

On Feb. 23 we received a notice from Duke Habernickel, the president of Haband in Jessup, Pa. He stated that one set was temporarily out of stock and they were expecting replacement goods imminently. To date we have not received the other set of sheets or heard any more from then. They also said they would inform us if there were any extended delay.


I have tried to call the company in Pennsylvania and also Orchard Brands Corp. in Beverly, Mass., where you suggested D.G. call. There is no listing for either one. If anyone has their number, I would appreciate hearing from them. My telephone number is 225-3368. — B. Gilbert, Turner

ANSWER: The words “extended delay” may hold a different meaning for Haband and other retailers than for you. Sun Spots shops online extensively and frequently has waited more than a month for a product to become available again. Many things are produced halfway around the world, so there are many factors to consider. The factory may have to gear up production again, and shipping from Asia can add considerable time to delivery.

Sun Spots suggests you e-mail [email protected] for a for a status update. (Haband’s does not provide a customer service phone number — at least one that Sun Spots could find.) Be sure to include your order number, preferably in the subject line. If you don’t receive a response, then you could follow the lead offered by other readers and contact the Consumer Protection Service of the Maine Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-436-2131.

DEAR SUN SPOTS; Is there anyone in the L-A area who can transfer pictures and videos from an old cell phone to a new one? Thank you. — Walter Burbank, Auburn

ANSWER: Sun Spots asked a technician at Verizon Wireless. He said if your phone has a memory card, you can simply remove that and place it in your new phone. Another option would be to transfer those pictures and videos to your computer and save them there. There may be other options as well, but it depends on the kind of cell phone you have and the service provider. Sun Spots suggests you take your phone to your service provider and see if they can help.

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be e-mailed to [email protected]