Nice cup
FTLComm - Tisdale - Tuesday, January 6, 2009

This afternoon I spent some time in a waiting room, one that was fitted out with a nice decanteur of good tasting coffee. As I savoured the coffee I took a look at the outstanding and interesting coloured pressed styrofoam cup. It is a great little cup and seemed to me a great shame that it was a one use item, not designed to be cleaned and reused but to be used once and discarded. This is a recurring theme with me because some much of what comes home fom the store is packaging, stuff to be ripped off the product and tossed into the garbage and then collected by the garbage man and plowed into the landfill.

I worry about this, especially since at some distant point in the furutre there will be landfill mining sights where discarded materials will be seen as a resource and costly attempts will be made to reclaim the waste. Glass jars, tin coated steel cans, chemically laced batteries, plastics of all kinds created from natural gas and formed into containers and packaging almost all of which is not biodegradeable but will remain as they are almost to the end of time.

Should we be doing this? Of course its wrong, we have always known it was wrong and reuse and recycle has been the sensible choice for decades only now we have discovered that the high costs of transportation and the need to keep the economy going by over consumption and forest destruction has ended almost all recycling programmes in Saskatchewan. Municipal government can not afford the cost of a green planet.

Let's get back to the nice cup. Through the course of the day and that was easy to determine by looking in the trash can only a few people took advantage of having a cup of coffee. Why then did the office not just provide a washable glass or China cup that the custodian would clean for the next day when he or she dumped out the trash can. The cost of that chore would be far less than the ten cents or so for the disposeable cup. The whole idea of disposability should be taxed out of existence. As a planet, we the people of earth can not and must not continue the wanton destruction of material and non-renewable resources just for convenience.

Our Extra Foods store and other outlets owned by Loblaws have decided to follow the course they set in their SuperStores when that chain opened and that was to charge for those aweful plastic bags. The reuseable black bags that they now sell are superior in everyway and can be used over and over and over again. They themselves are made from shredded soft drink bottles. What a great idea and its up to you to remember to take them with you to the store and end the use of those plastic landfilling non-biodegradeable bags.

Only an hour earlier I had had lunch at Subway where my sandwich came wrapped in one layer of paper and sheet of wax paper. Both of those can easy biodegrade but even then it would be better to serve that sandwich on a simple plate that is washed and reused. You will notice I did not mention a plastic bag. When I get a Subway sandwich I always ask the person making my sandwich not to put it in a plastic bag as I will be eating in the shop. Most of the time they do it just like putting on lettuce or mayo. My coffee was in a paper cup. A great paper cup but also something destine for the landfill. Fast food places are a ecological disaster as they product so much waste often wrapping something two and three times.

If you go to a Wendy's just look at your table after you have finished and look at the amount of material that was given to you to hold a little food then be tossed. It just doesn't make sense.

Let's start putting the pressure on all businesses, its time to use reusable cups and plates, its time to stop dishing out mountains of packaging trash and its time to stop wasting the energy and materials used to created the stuff that is being made specifically to go to the landfill sites.

Timothy W. Shire

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Editor : Timothy W. Shire
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