Let’s Get Circular; It Is the Only Way We Won’t End Up Buried in GarbagePosted on September 14, 2021 by DrRossH in Plastic Recycling, Plastic Waste News
75 years ago, if you wanted a cup of coffee or a bite to eat, you went to a restaurant or diner, sat down and got served your coffee in a porcelain mug and ate off a china plate. There were no litter bins on the street because there wasn’t much litter. It was pretty much a closed, circular system where the restaurant owner sold you food or coffee and kind of rented you the vessel you ate or drank from.
By the 1960s, private automobiles had taken over American roads and fast-food joints catering almost exclusively in food to-go became the fastest growing facet of the restaurant industry.” Now we were all eating out of paper, using foam or paper cups, straws, forks, everything was disposable. But while there may have been waste bins at the McDonalds’ parking lot, there weren’t any on the roads or in the cities; this was all a new phenomenon.
KAB downplayed industry’s role in despoiling the earth, while relentlessly hammering home the message of each person’s responsibility for the destruction of nature, one wrapper at a time. ….KAB was a pioneer in sowing confusion about the environmental impact of mass production and consumption.
We are trained from our first Playmobil set that recycling is among the most virtuous things that we can do in our lives. Studies have shown that for many people, it is the ONLY “green” thing that they do. And it is an extraordinary scam. We have come to accept that we should carefully separate our waste and store it, then pay serious taxes for men in special trucks to come and take it away and separate it further, and then try and recover the cost by selling the stuff.
When China closed its doors to our waste it became essentially worthless. The entire recycling system has been exposed as a Potemkin Village where a lot of people look busy and it costs everybody a lot of money, but doesn’t really do much at all except make people feel good.
If we are truly going to go circular, we have to change more than just our coffee cups, we have to change our culture. We started this slideshow with Edward Hopper and will end with it because one could go on forever, but it is a culture of sitting down in restaurants, of drinking coffee like Italians, buying beer in refillable and returnable bottles like they do in most of the world. It is going to require lifestyle changes and some loss of convenience. But we do also get to slow down and smell the coffee. It might be fun.
Such a good article, well worth reading the whole piece.