In the bigger scheme of things right now plastic isn’t on top of the list of importance by a long way but a recent announcement from our corporation parading as a government is the bold move where no government has gone before, pardon my cynicism … they’re banning … wait for it …
plastic fruit stickers, cutlery, and cotton buds.
It’s a bit like the recent announcement by Countdown that they’ve stopped stocking plastic straws. (Whilst McDs and friends all continue using them). They are the culprits. It is very difficult not to be cynical at this, when one browses the supermarket, everywhere there is plastic. It is so hypocritical. “Excuse me, please stop using this plastic that we’re manufacturing for you. And please buy these bags we’ve made for you.” Used to be we took our own basket to the supermarket … we’ve come such a long way haven’t we? (Not). And now of course it is all backfiring as there is no other country to dump our consumer trash on any more. It was coming wasn’t it and please don’t try and tell me they didn’t know that.
Let’s be honest and remember why we have plastic bags and wrapping in the first place. Step back a few decades, well four decades actually, and we were all toting our groceries home in paper bags provided by the supermarket (that we all are obliged to pay 25 cents each for now) and our meat was wrapped in paper then newspaper. There simply wasn’t much plastic at all. So why did they replace the paper bags with plastic?
That’s simple. And it wasn’t because our mothers, grandparents or whatever begged them to give us plastic bags. A corporation’s bottom line is profit and cost effectiveness. They achieve that by passing the cost on to us whilst convincing us it was our fault in the first place. Watch The Corporation movie (on the Corporations page) and you’ll see what I mean. It’s cost effective for their pockets not the environment you realize. I recall hearing in the ’80s that corporations would one day be controlling governments. It seemed a far cry and yet here we are and they do exactly that. And so nobody will get tough on corporations and to keep us at bay they feed us little snippets of hope like ‘the straws are going’ … ‘we’re banning supermarket bags’ and so on. Hoping we won’t notice the veggies, the meat everything in fact is packed to the hilt with … plastic. Sadly everybody swallows the spin on it.
Let’s just stop accepting the blame for this. They took away the paper & gave us a ton of free plastic however as we know it isn’t free because it costs the environment but as we also now know corporates are really good at kicking cans down the road then telling us it’s our responsibility to pick up the tab. Where once they washed the glass milk and other bottles they replaced those with plastic. They took away the glass containers with marmite & peanut butter etc that we used to keep & use for drinking glasses and replaced them with plastic as well. We need to go the way of the Bin Inns and bring our own containers again.
The discussion around this wonderful announcement from Jacinda has brought forth some brilliant ideas. One I really like & am considering practicing is to rip the plastic off the said items after leaving the supermarket & dispose of it in their trash. Send it back to where it came from. Instead currently we are obliged to take it home, wash it once empty, sort it into a dozen different categories & transport it all the way to a recycle center if we do not have a kerbside collection. Talk about sustainable practices. Even though our corporate councils (yes they are listed on Dun & Bradstreet as companies) lay claim to sustainable practices. A few of them do it but not all.
Lip service pretty much is the name of that game.
Here is the Jacinda article: