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ACS News

Reactions: Staffing changes at C&EN and challenges with legislation on plastic bottles

February 5, 2023 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 101, Issue 3

Letters to the editor

C&EN’s reorganization

I have always been impressed by the excellent journalism by C&EN. The scope of the magazine as well as the skill caused a number of friends who are not chemists to become American Chemical Society members solely for a C&EN subscription.

So the current staff trouble at the flagship magazine is deeply concerning, and I hope something will be rapidly remedied. If not, C&EN has no hope of replacing the likes of Newsweek, Bloomberg Businessweek, or the Financial Times for the nonchemist.

James Morris

Foster City, California

I have been an ACS member for decades. By far the most valuable benefit of membership to me is C&EN, which I read regularly, along with Science and Nature. I have been consistently impressed with the quality and independence of the reporting, even when it runs counter to the financial interests of CAS (a division of ACS).

I recently renewed my ACS membership for 2023, but if the changes in editorial control at C&EN degrade this treasured institution, I don’t think I will do so for 2024.

Daniel Erlanson

San Francisco

I am an ACS member. I was concerned by the Dec. 12/19 editorial (page 4). The environmental policy news is the most valuable thing in C&EN, with second place going to the industry and technology trend articles. Frankly, the news about society business, programs, and activities is of low interest to me most of the time.

Chris Lutes

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Breakdown in bottle-bill implementation

The article about requiring deposits on plastic bottles (Dec. 12/19, 2022, page 17) states that California is one of the states that has this requirement. This is an encouraging way to solve the plastic waste problem. These bottles are to be returned to retailers or redemption centers. However, the experience in California has been poor because retailers are not required to redeem these bottles, and most redemption centers have been closed. In my hometown of 80,000 people, there is no redemption center, and only one store has a machine that will redeem a bottle, but it pays only to your PayPal account. This is not a satisfactory solution to bottle recycling. The industry must do better before all of us are buried in plastic waste.

Joseph Lowry

Milpitas, California



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