A big styrofoam peanut just rolled in through the door of Crepes on Cole, the New West's analogy to a tumbleweed blowing into a saloon. Possible origin: Williams-Sonoma, via our registry, via a box delivered to our house, via a trash bag full of post-packaging peanuts we delivered to the Postal Chase here on Cole St.
For a while now, I've been thinking "shame on Williams-Sonoma for loosing a flood of these indestructible mini-tumbleweeds of death upon their yuppified clientele." But after a little research and some hi-test coffee, I'm coming around to the stuff. See - municipal recycling places will not take it, and the heads-up garbage man (damn you!) won't take it, so you're forced to carry it to your friendly neighborhood Mailboxes Etc. or Postal Chase or some other shipping place, which then re-uses it. Huh.
The flip side: I think lots of times, people don't feel like herding all those peanuts and humping them down to the store, and so they hide them in normal trash. Lots of them end up on the loose, and they end up roaming the earth for eternity, occasionally blowing into restaurants and startling over-caffeinated journalists.
UPDATE - PROBLEM SOLVED...NEXT!
Wired News: Bacteria Turn Toxins Into Plastic
Bacteria Turn Toxins Into Plastic
By Rowan Hooper
02:00 AM Sep. 09, 2004 PT
Irish scientists have isolated a bacterium that can convert a toxic waste product into safe, biodegradable plastic.
This week, scientists Kevin O'Connor and Patrick Ward, of the Department of Industrial Microbiology at University College Dublin, announced that they have discovered a bacterial strain that uses styrene, a toxic byproduct of the polystyrene industry (which produces Styrofoam, among other things), as fuel to make a type of biodegradable plastic, polyhydroxyalkanoate, known as PHA.