News doesn't take a break during the holidays.
But readers love off-beat and unusual stories too, so here are a few that I've been saving:
"A Christmas Miracle: Packaging Is Less Infuriating," from Slate.com's Farhad Manjoo, who notes that "bad packaging is now becoming the exception rather than the norm."
"Unsafe Holiday Rubber Ducks Seized by CBP in Los Angeles," courtesy of a press release from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Someone in the federal government has a sense of humor, it appears (surprise!), as you can see from the opening lines of the release:
They arrived from China dressed as Santa, Snowman, Gingerbread man, Reindeer and Penguin, all 35,712, but their cute holiday flair did not deflect the scrutiny of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and import specialists, at the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport.
Working closely with U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) compliance investigators, CBP officials seized the holiday ducks on December 4, after determining that the toys, with a domestic value of $18,522, contained a regulated phthalate in excess of the limit which may be harmful to the health and safety of children.
"PVC Christmas Trees May Climb to Record Sales in 2012," from the Vinyl Institute. What's the most sustainable choice in Christmas decorations, a real tree or a PVC replica? The answer may surprise you -- or maybe not, since this came from the Vinyl Institute.
According to VI, sales of man-made PVC Christmas trees might have topped $1 billion in 2012, a gain of 6 percent over 2011.
Happy 2013, Plastics Blog readers!