Like many of my readers, no doubt, I have to turn off the authoritarian madness surrounding coronavirus every day.
There is one silver lining to the Chi-vi, though: the comeback of disposable Plastic.
Last year in England, Conservative (?!) MPs disparaged ‘the scourge of disposable plastic’.
Those of us who find Plastic Bags and straws useful smirked.
It turns out that, with coronavirus, we had the last — and best — laugh. Never mind if it’s temporary, we have found that disposable plastic bags and containers are actually hygienic. We know from the spread of e. Coli since the advent of reusable tote bags.
With the prevalence of coronavirus in March, merchants in England did a re-think on reusable bags. They give customers plastic bags now, in store and for home delivery.
The United States also recognises the questionable hygiene surrounding reusable tote bags:
People are hardly likely to take care of their tote bags, are they?
Said bags sit on the pavement, the bus or train floor and the manky kitchen counter before they sit on a supermarket checkout counter. Errgh.
Even reusable cups — the latest eco-friendly fad before coronavirus — have been banned in various establishments, and rightly so:
In England, some supermarkets began to deliver home shopping orders in paper bags before coronavirus. The same supermarkets switched back to sturdy plastic when lockdown was announced on Monday, March 23. Even now that lockdown has been largely lifted, supermarkets are still packaging customer purchases in plastic bags.
My weekly — not to mention monthly — waste was much less with plastic bags. Although my butcher, thankfully, still uses them, my fishmonger has switched to paper.
With the butcher, I can rinse the plastic packaging — a flimsy white bag — and dump it into the waste bin which has items I cannot recycle. Those bags are very small. If I am concerned about any residual odour during the summer months, I put the rinsed bags into a clean plastic bag from a local shop and pop them in the bin. Those clean plastic bags contained vegetables or other items I purchased in other shops. I am reusing them.
With the fishmonger, it’s an entirely different story. He bundles everything in three pieces of paper wrap and puts purchases in a flimsy paper shopping bag, which starts bursting at the bottom before I can get it in the door.
‘Those shopping bags are expensive’, he says.
I’d rather he went back to the plastic sealable bags he once used. I had next to no waste. I could even give each bag a good soapy wash after removing the fish and could reuse them at least three times apiece. Where’s the waste there?
With his new paper system, I have to bundle a load of smelly paper into one trash bag that never used to have any fishmonger’s waste. This means that when I normally would not have had to put the non-recyclable waste bin out, I do now — after visiting his shop.
I tried to explain to him that paper production is water-intensive and equally expensive in other ways. However, his two daughters, and no doubt his wife, have convinced him that this is the way to go.
There is another aspect of disposable plastic that relates to coronavirus: disposable masks, which are becoming increasingly more mandatory in various nations in various circumstances!
Strangely, those who support the wearing of masks — even the disposable plastic ones — also support carrying one’s own tote bags and reusable drinks containers.
You could not make this up.